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Full text of "Wallace; a historical tragedy, in five acts .."

Glass. 



Book 



WALLACE : 



HISTORICAL TRAGEDY, 

- 

IN FIVE ACTS; 



FIRST PERFORMED 

at tfje ©fjeatre Bogal ©obettt ©tertim, 
/ 

On Tuesday, November 14, 1820. 



By C E. WALKER, Esq. 



Uontion; 

PRINTED FOR JOHN MILLER, 69, FLEET STREET. 

1820. 
(Price Three Shillings.) 



yRS7°% : 



Jo V 






Printed by W. SMITH, King Street, Long Acre. 



TO 



WILLIAM MACREADY, Esq. 



AS 



A SMALL TRIBUTE OF GRATEFUL FRIENDSHIP 



THIS TRAGEDY 



IS INSCRIBED BY 



THE AUTHOR 



®bbttti$tmtnt. 



IN submitting the following sheets to public 
inspection, it would be truly ungrateful on the part 
of the Author not to acknowledge the many obli- 
gations under which he lies towards all engaged 
either in the performance or in the bringing out of 
his Play ; and who, by their several exertions, so 
materially contributed to its success. 

N. B. The metre will in some instances be 
found incomplete, owing to the necessary curtail- 
ments made during the rehearsals. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 



SCOTS. 



Wallace, Regent of Scotland Mr. MACREADY 

Comyn, Thane of Cumbernauld Mr. EGERTON 

Stuart, Thane of Bute Mr. MEARS. 

Douglas } fMr. C. KEMBLE 

Monteith I Leaders of the Armyl Mr. ABBOTT 
Ramsay ) LMr. HUNT 

Kierly, Follower of Wallace Mr. COMER 

Fergus, Clansman of Monteith Mr. JEFFRIES 

Helen, Wife of Wallace . . • • Mrs. BUNN 



ENGLISH 



Clare, Earl of Gloster Mr CHAPMAN 

Lord de Clifford ...Mr. CONNOR 

Sir Reginald Fitz Eustace Mr. CLAREMONT 



Officer, Soldiers, #c. 



fJvGionur 



BY A LADY. 



When the young Eaglet first aspiring tries 
To stretch his pinions, and to reach the skies, 
Bold from his native rock, he upward springs, 
Hope cheers his bosom, and sustains his wings — 
Till from surrounding clouds with undimm'd ray, 
Bursts the effulgence of the God of day : 
Struck by whose beams he turns his dazzled sight, 
And conscious first of his adventurous height, 
With new-born terror checks his eager flight. 
So our rash Poet, in this hour of dread, 
Hangs with dejected mien his youthful head — 
Fears the keen glances of the public eye, 
And trembling, owns, that he has soar'd too high. 
Yet in this liberal, this enlightened age, 
When patriot Wallace treads the'British stage ; 
Say, will not candour spread her shield to guard 
From too severe a fate, the aspiring Bard ? 
With kind forbearance his excuses make. 
And spare the Author for his subject's sake ? 
Ye Scots ! transcendant both in arts and arms, 
Whose noble breasts the flame of freedom warms ! 
Ye generous English ! ever greatly prone, 
A sister kingdom's kindred claims to own ! 
Tho' once your Sires in hostile combat stood, 
And bathed the embattled plain with patriot blood : 
Those times are fled — no longer jealous foes, 
Together bloom the Thistle and the Rose ! 
United still — oh! make one common cause, 
And give to freedom's son your joint applause ! 



WALLACE, 



ACT L 

SCENE I. 

Interior of the town of Stirling. — Gateway in front. 

Enter Comyn and Monteith. 

Mon. At length 'tis come, that long" expected hour, 
When with fresh laurels from the field of fame, 
Gaily bedeck'd, this new raised idol Wallace — 
This chosen of the people, doth return. 

Com. Aye, t!:ou sayest well, this chosen of the 
people, 
But outcast of all true nobility; 
This god — but only of the grosser herd — 
This rabble-mounted chief, who dotU usurp, 
'Neath the thin pretext of a popular choice, 
That regal power, by birth and blood my due : 
Thee too I think he has dislodged vth' army, 
Drawn to himself thy soldiers hearts. 

Mon. No more, 

The bare remembrance tortures me ; be sure, 
Tho' for wise purposes I seem his friend, 
Thou cans't not more detest him than Monteith. 

Com. Learn then, at once to lift thy soul to joy, 
There's such a power still mine, as shall with speed 
O'erturn and hurl his godship to the earth ; 
Throned tho' he be, and scepteredin the hearts 
Of his brute worshippers, his wondering herd there. 

B 



10 

Learn that this eve have I resolved, the Thanes 

In council-hall assembled, to assume 

That rank and royal station which my birth, 

As next of kin to Baliol, well allows me. 

- Mon. Ha! but how stand the different Thanes 

disposed 
To aid thy measures ? 

Com. All are ours, my friend : 

All save the Douglas ; he alone, fond youth, 
Still firmly clings, as he were grafted there, 
To the proud stem of our aspiring Wallace. 

Mon. My curses on the stripling— he was born 
To be my bane, and wheresoe'er I turn, 
Still to oppose and thwart me ; but for him 
An union with thy ward the Lady Helen 
Had placed me on the summit of my hopes. 

Com. Yet what's a trothment made in infancy ? 
Besides, 'tis plain the lady loves him not : 
Or wherefore, like the flower that closes in 
At first approach of evening, ever thus 
Shrink from his suit ? Monteith, she shall be thine : 
Let but this Wallace, this all- covering cloud, 
That with its greatness shades us from the sun, 
Be blown to air, and on her guardian's word, 
She shall be thine ! (Shouts without. ) 

Ha ! hark ! what means this tumult ? 

Mon. Oh, my Lord ! 

The crowd at their devotions ! from the which 
I guess their new divinity be nigh ! 

Com. Here break we off then. (</<>&</•) 

3Ion. How,— -my Lord ! you'll stay 

To see the order of the entry ? 

Com. What ! 

To lacquey his proud pageant with my presence ? 
Bow as he pass, or bear his train belike ! 
At best make one o' the many 'mid the throng 
That with their raij^ breaths bellow forth his praise ! 
Away ! I'll from this mummery to my palace ; 
My honest soul disdains to hide in smiles 
Its scorn and hatred ! (Exit.) 



11 

Man. (looking after him.) Hence! thou shallow 

Thy hatred! thine! what then must be Monteith's? 

Oh Wallace ! when I think that but for thee, 

Who serpent-like at every winding cross' d 

My oath to fame, and with smooth seeming art 

Coiling around, compressed the eagle flight 

Of my full-plumed ambition ; but for thee— 

This wild acclaim perchance, these victor wrea ths, 

This triumph had been mine ! while now-oh hell .— 

And shall it ever be so, still, for ever : 

No ■ I will cut this torment from my soul, 

Tho' mine own life blood follow ! let what will 

Chance o' the issue, somewhat must be done, 

That I may sloep at rest, or sleep for ever . 

Ha ! Douglas here ! 

(Enter Douglas J 
Bouq He comes, the conqueror comes ! 

Hear you those thundering shouts? The conqueror 

comes, 
Triumphant in his might! from out the gate, 
Assembling crowds swarm forth to welcome him ; 
The old, the young, the matron, and the maid, 
Confusedly tnix'd, roll in full streams along, 
And Wallace ! Wallace! is the general cry. 
Far o'er the field as human ken prevails, 
Plumed helms are seen, embossed shields, and spears 
That sparkle to the sun ; while far aloft 
The frequent banner, flaunting to the gale, 
Unfurls its blazonry ; nor less descried 
That standard, where the lion ramps in gold; 
Pole-star of Scotland's liberty, which high 
Amid the central host, in pride of power, 
Towers o'er thv sacred head, victorious Wallace ! 
Mon. (aside.) That men should be besotted with 
him thus ! . 

Yet, yet I will be patient, (aloud.) How is this r" 
The Douglas to his darling theme foresworn ! 
Fie! fie! my Lord; beshrew me, but 'tis well 
Our jealous dames of Stirling hear thee riot, 
The lady Helen too—— 



12 

Doug. I guess thy meaning'. 

Yet at a time like this, so rich in triumph, 
So big with blessings to a rescued country, 
Ev'n she should be forgotten ! — True, I prize her,— 
Oh, is there ought on earth I prize beyond her ! 
But 'midst a happy nations shouts, a nation, 
Hailing with hearts' of rapture its deliverer, 
What Scot's alive to any thought but one ? 

{Trumpets and Shouts without. — Procession 
—Standard Bearers, with the Cross of 
St. Andrew, and the Thistle oj Scotland, 

the Chief tarns, each of whom is preceded 
by his particular banner, and lastly Wallace, 
who is surrounded by Military Ensigns.) 

Mont. All hail, thou Champion of thy country's 
rights ! 
Giver of liberty, all hail ! to thee, 
A rescued nation pours its gratitude ! 
To thee, who as the sun that sudden breaks 
From forth the darken'd orient, bast dispell'd 
The usurping mists, and given us once again 
To gaze erect on the fair front of day ! 

Wal. Enough—that we have conquered be all thanks 
Address'd, where solely they are due, to Heaven ! 
The rest is silence ! 

Doug. Oh, not so — to thee, 

Next to that Heav'n, to thee, Heaven's delegate, 
Be every praise ascribed ; and woe wait him 
Who with mabgnant envy would deny 
This tribute to thy valour. 

Wal. Oh ! my friends ! 

My countrymen ! 'tis not in words to speak 
The joy your high applause creates within me ; 
But only this, that long as I shall breathe 
The breath of life, I only live for you. 

Ramsay advances. 

What tidings bringst thou ? 

Ram. From the Southron Camp 

The Lord de Clifford comes. 



13 

Wal. Admit him straight. 

(Enter Lord de Clifford with train as Ambassador.) 

Welcome, my Lord of Clifford: now declare, 
And briefly, what your embassy imports. 

Cliff'. Thro' me King Edward greets this northern 
realm, 
With thee its Regent, and to prove how far 
Ye wrong his royal nature, wills to spare 
The streams of blood that fate prepares to pour 
O'er this devoted country, and propound 
Fair terms of peace and amity. 

Wal. Proceed ! 

Cliff. Let then this realm of Caledon return 
To that allegiance, which on Dunbar's plain 
She swore to England's Monarch ; let her sons, 
From his authority seduced, again 
Acknowledge his supremacy, and here, 
By every tie that binds mankind, he swears 
To o'erlook the past, withdraw his armed bands, 
And little as your lapse of faith deserve, 
Kestore ye to his favour and protection. 

Wal, Unheard of grace ! but first whence springs, 
proud Lord, 
This insolence of speech ? hast thou forgot, 
How thine embattled bands, if fame be sooth, 
The flower of Edward's army, fled before us ? 
Their banner'd trophies, which ere this had waved 
In confidence of conquest, hurl'd to earth, 
And trampled in the dust ! can this have wrought 
A theme whereOn to boast ? 

Cliff. We've nought with this. 

Nobles of Caledonia, in the name 
Of Edward, England's sovereing Lord and King, 
We wait your answer to the terms proposed. 

Wal. Then in the name of this assembled land, 
You have it, — 'tis defiance ! — for your King, 
We know him not, but. as a ruthless foe, 
Who many a sorrowing year of servitude 
Held this fair realm enthrall'd : and should we now, 
By a tame, temporising treaty, court 
The very bonds we have so lately broken ? 



14 

No ! as a free and independent race, 
We spurn all terms that savour of subjection ! 
Tell the Plantagenet this ; that there are here, 
Who never will pay homage to a brow, 
With foreign diadem encircled ; who, 
While but one drop of blood shall animate 
Their liberal bosoms, will defend their rights, 
Still will resist a tyrant ! 

Cliff. Who shall dare 
Say this to Edward ? whose resistless course 
Has swept from realm to conquerVl realm — alone 
That Scotland, mindless of the oaths she swore, 
Refuses fealty to her lawful King ! 
How will his rage be kindled even to fury 

Wal. And let him rage: is Scotland fallen so far 
That she should tremble when a tyrant chafes ? 
His rage ! oh patience heart! — How then? if Edward 
Would have the prostrate world beneath his feet, 
The world, forsooth, must crouch at Edward's bidding, 
For fear his rage — his rage ! — oh excellent! 

Cliff. Ye do reject his offer then ; is such 
The general voice of Scotland ? 

Wal. Lord ! in me 

Thou hear'st the nation's voice ! thy masters grace 
Meets the contempt it merits ! 

Cliff. Then list the royal Edward's last decree ! 
Since ye are thus perversely bent on ruin, 
Since ye will pull the red destruction down 
That nods above your heads, he bids ye stand 
Prepared to meet no common shock of war ; 
For with yon powerful army, that has sped 
From the far East on Victory's amplest wing, 
He comes, as with a deluge, to o'erbear 
The meagre might, and mustering of your arms. 
Then yet, bethink thee 

Wal. Southron ! I have said. 

You have your answer ; back then to your King, 
And tell him, that the freedom Heaven has given us, 
Shall not be lightly lost ! enough, lead on ! 

{Exeunt Wallace and train at the side wing, Clifford, 
8$c. throvgh the gateway.) 



IB 



SCENE II. 

^ An Apartment in the Palace. 

Enter Monteith. 

Mon. Aye, shout, ye revellers, shout ! And thou, 
sweep on, 
Inflated Conqueror, we'll find a way 
To cross thee in thy plenitude of pride ! 
Mean time, fair faced hypocrisy, do thou 
Assist my purpose ; mould my brow to the seeming 
Of rigid'st honesty, and teach mine eyes 
With well conceited truth to look the lie ! 
'Till guided by thy power, I gain at length 
The topmost summit of success : but hold, 
The conqueror's self. — 

Enter Wallace. 

Wal. Well met, my noble friend : 

So, thou hast heard the assembled states' decree -, 
Edward encamps at Falkirk, and 'tisfix'd, 
Soon as the morrow's sun shall streak the sky 
With first approach of light, to give him battle. 
Yet, e're we march, I fain would claim of thee 
A few brief moments hearing ; e're we part, 
Perhaps to meet no more— 

Mon. Away, my friend, 

With such prophetic fancies. 

Wal. Nay, Monteith, 

Chide not, but hear me ; for in vain I've striven 
To conquer the forebodings that assail me. 
Thou know'st that Edward's army treble ours ; 
Yet 'tis not that, were every troop a legion, 
Could shake the soul of Wallace, if — but hear me, 
While to thy faithful friendship I confide 
A precious charge, a charge of all I hold 
Most dear on earth ! 



16 

Mon. What may this mean ? 

Wal. I'll tell thee ; yes, Monteith, 

For I dare trust thy faithfulness of love. 
Know then, that if amid the morrow's strife 
Thy Wallace fall, he leaves exposed, the sport 
Of each cold pitiless blast, a tender shoot, 
That as the trustful vine around its elm 
Hath inter-wrought her foliage with his stem, 
And fondly crept to shelter in his shade. 
Say then, this tender one that thou'lt not leave 
To the wild tossings of the impetuous storm ; 
That should it prove thy Wallace' lot to fall 
I'th' morrow's strife, thou wilt protect — his wife. 

Mon. His wife ! you much amaze me, ne'er till now 
Had I ev'n heard— 

Wal. I know — that I was wedded. 
Yes, my Monteith — forgive me that so long 
I've held thee unacquainted with the event ; 
'Tis now three months have o'er us sped, since first 
I call'd the tenderest, truest one, that e'er 
Plighted her virgin faith to man, my wife. 

Mon. And might a friend presume so far to ask 
Whose more than mortal charms have thus ensnared 
The conqueror's soul, and made it yield to love ? 

Wal. Oh ! is there ought I would conceal from thee ? 
Thou may'st have heard belike (for loudly fame 
Hath blown her praises) of the lady Helen. 

Mon. (aside.) Ha! can it be ? 
Mean'stthou the orphan heiress of Glencairn, 
Whom the lord Comyn holds in ward ? 

Wal. The same. 

Mon. Death and distraction ! - (aside, then with an 
assumed air of indifference) — What, is she thy 
wife? 

Wal. She is. 

Mon. In secret wedded didst thou say ? 

Wal. (who has observed him with some surprise.) — 
Whence this concern ? you seem disturbed, my friend : 
And might I read your thoughts — 



17 

Mon. (endeavouring to recover himself)-— Dis- 
turbed ? oh no. 
Somewhat surprised, I own, surprised at this 
So unexpected mention of your nuptials. 
Married to Helen ! ha ? and knew you not 
That to the Douglas ev'nfrom earliest years 
Her hand had been betrothed ? 

Wal. Oh never ; no, 

As heaven shall judge my actions, till of late 
Trust me, I never knew it ; nor my Helen 
Had e'er considered such a troth ment, made 
Without her sanction and consent, as binding. 

Mon, He knows not then 

Wal. None know it : it was fix'd 

For some short space to hold the event concealed ; 
For so my love with earnestness besought me ; 
Fearful of what her fierce and fiery kinsman 
Might in my absence put in force against her. 
Should I then fall, to thy fraternal care 
I do commit this dearest charge. 
Wilt thou protect her ? 

Mon. Canst thou ask? — to doubt 

That I but live to serve thee, and obey thee, 
Oh 'twere to wrong, to underrate my friendship. 

Wal. Enough! and now, I do but snatch an hour 
To seek yon grove, which, like the miser's chest 
Closing o'er precious gold, conceals my treasure, 
Ere I rejoin you ; then, my fellow soldier, 
Once more to the field ! 

Mon. Away— I will expect thee. 

[Exit Wallace. 

Helen his wife ! what Helen ? she with whom 
I should have wed ? and oh ! yet hold a while ; 
Let me digest my rage : in secret wedded, 
And to the Douglas' destined bride : enough, — 
It dawns, it rises on me : these fast friends — 
I'll rive their fond entwining arms asunder. 
Ha ! yes, it brightens to my raptured view ! 

C 



18 

Instant I'll seek the affianced youth, and lead him 
As 'twere by chance, towards yon appointed grove, 
Where his own eyes may best behold their meeting. 
Then let the tide of disappointed love, 
Strong in its swelling rage, make good the wreck, 
And glut me with the ruin of my foe ! [Exit. 



END OF THE FIRST ACT, 



19 



A CT II. 

SCENE I. 

A Wood. 

Enter Douglas and Monteith. 

Doug. See where beneath the shade of yoii dark 
firs, 
Her airy form shews like a spirit of light, 
Streaming athwart the starless arch of Heaven ! 

Mon. 'Tis said I think her meditative mood 
Will oft incline her from mankind apart, 
To seek seclusion in a dell like this ? 

Doug. Oh aye — 'tis ever thus — thou know'st, Mon- 
teith, 
We were affianced even from earliest years, 
Each to the other — yet, I guess not why,— 
Whatever laurels in the field of fame 
My conquering sword hath won — whatever vows 
In the calm hour of peace my ardent soul 
Hath at her feet a thousand times pour'd forth, 
Could never win from that reluctant fair 
One genial smile, one fond approving look, 
One precious sun-beam th'wart a lowering sky* 
To pierce the solid depth of my despair, 
And woo me back to hope ; in vain — in vain— 
She flies me still, and in the dusky shade 
Of some deep wood or melancholy glen 
Nurses her soul in secret solitude. 
And dost thou smile ? away — I did not think 
My woes had moved thy mirth ! 



20 

Mon. Not so, my friend ; 

Nay, I but smiled to think that in the shade 
Of some deep wood, or melancholy glen, 
Not wholly of that solitary nature,-" 
Might he the pensive maiden's meditations. 
Doug. {Alarmed) Ha! mean you? 
Mon. Nay, it was a mere surmise. 

Doug. Surmise ! 

Mon. No more ; why what have I affirm'd 
To shake you thus? 

Doug. (After a pause) — It was a damned thought ! 
But say, say out at once whatever you think. 

Mon. Nay, nay, enquire no more, — perchance, but 
no — 
I knew not what I said ) or if I did, 
Thou wer't unwise to mark me. 

Doug. Gracious Heaven ! 

And wilt thou leave me thus unsatisfied? 
But thou hast never loved ; hast never known 
The stings, the racks, the torturing agonies 
That tear a jealous bosom, else indeed 
Thou would'st have pity on me; speak ! oh speak ! 

Mon. No more ; 1 have spoken but too much already. 
Urge me no farther, Douglas; it were best 
For both our sakes you thought on it no more. 

Doug. By Heaven you stir not, no Monteith; I 
will, 
I will be satisfied ; you stir not hence 
Till that— 

Mon. Till what? 

Doug. I know not. I'm in horrors ; 
In horrors worse than death ! yet, yet resolve me! 
Mon. What should I say ? 
Doug. Oh ! if thou hast seen, or heard 
Aught that concerns my Helen, — mark me, mine — 
My Helen — in the face of Heaven my own— 
I do conjure — 1 do command thee tell me. 

Mon. Nay, take thy temper to thee,— as I think — 
The lady Helen, in this vicious age, 
Stands all aloof, and like yon mountains snows, 
Still bears a name imperishably pure. 



21 

Doug. Not the fair lily fraught with dews from 
Heaven, 
Or rose, ere yet it blossom to the breeze, 
Can I conceive more chaste — but wherefore this? 

Mon. She has charms too, if fame be sooth, might 
steal 
A hoary anchorite from his ancient cell, 
And fire his soul to long- forgotten love. 

Doug. (After a pause.) She is indeed most fair, 

but on, Monteith 

I guess not why— what would'st thou hence infer ? 

Jkfon. Simply that such united qualities 
Might possibly have charms in other eyes. 

Doug. Confusion ! no ! none dare even lift a look, 
Breathe even a wish, or entertain a thought 
Towards the betroth'd of Douglas ; no, Monteith, 
I will not think it; 'tis impossible. 
As safely might that desperate wight essay 
To pluck from under the proud Eagle's wing 
Her cherish'd offspring, as oppose my love, 
Or strive to rob me of my Helen's hand. 
Away ! it cannot be. 

Mon. Beshrew me now, 

But I rejoice to find you take it thus ; 
Even so — it cannot be, and that cold scorn, 
That civil hate, I mean indifference, 
With which the lady ever chills your suit, 
Arises but from maiden bashfulness. 
Think'st thou not so ? I see, I see thou dost. 

Doug. Let it arise from what it may, Monteith, 
No more I'll battle with these damning doubts : 
But seek at once my plighted bride, and — 

Mon. (as if thrown off his guard) Ha ! 
Whither wouldst seek her ? 

Doug. Towards St. Cyprian's grove. 

But now I watch'd her course. 

Mon. Thou must not go. 

Doug. Ha ! must not 

Mon. No. 

Doug. Not worlds should bribe my stay. 
I do perceive, Monteith; thou play 'st me deep; 



22 

Bat spite of thy precautions I will pierce 
The secret source of all this mystery ; 
These hurried glances, incoherent words, 
And ill suppressed emotions— — - 

Mon. On thy life 

I charge thee hold — yet hold-— 

Doug. Away, away ! 

Mon. Yet hear me • 

Doug. Hence ! — or free me — or thou diest. 

[Exeunt, 



SCENE II. 

A Grove. 

Enter Wallace leading forth Helen. 

Wal. (embracing her) My Helen ! 

Helen. Do I then once more enfold thee ! 
Oh joy, oh ecstasy unutterable ! 
For all my sorrows in thine absence past, 
A full, an overpayment of delight * 

Wal. And yet if one might argue from those tears : 
Thou weep'st 

Helen. 'Tis true, but they are drops of joy; 

Such as the Heavens do pour, when Nature smiles, 
And all is peace, and all is sunshine round, 
As from excess of rapture. 

Wal. Matchless love ! 

Oh who shall censure that for one short hour 
I loose myself from every thought but thee ? 
Yet soon — too soon 

Helen. What means my dearest lord? 

Wal. 'Mid times, as these my Helen, ill it were, 
To waste the languid and inglorious hours 
In listless ease. To-morrow's earliest dawn 
Sees us in arms again. 



23 

Helen. So soon — ah me! 

My dreams foreboded this, and I remember 
Then to have wished, that thou no more would 'st follow 
The wandering path of fame, but that together, 
Remote from human dwelling, we might find 
Some unknown spot, fair as of old that garden, 
Where happy in each others converse dwelt 
The parents of mankind ; that we might know 
No pang of parting, such as now impends 
O'er my sad spirit, but with loves and joys 
Ne'er ending, tread the sweet descent of life 
Unenvied and unknown. You turn away, 
Oh ! look not on me thus. (He regards her sorrowfully. 

JVal. No more : believe me, 

If ought on earth could tempt me to forego 
My destined course, it would be those pure joys 
Which thou in all so eminently graced, 
Wert born to kindle : but it may not be • 
(Taking her hand) Helen, it must not : no — that wretch 

were curst, 
Doubly and trebly curst, who could sit down 
In calm inaction, and resign his soul 
To selfishness of bliss, while all unheard 
A suffering country pour'd her groans around ! 

Helen. Am I thy wife, and could I counsel this ? 
No, champion of thy country's holiest rights, 
Go forth, and conquer ! Helen bids thee forth ! 
And yet — (leaning on his bosom). 

Wal. You pause — why that dejected look ? 

Helen. Our secret 'spousal, Wallace ; there's the 
weight 
That sinks my soul ; should any chance reveal it 
Ere thy return, how, how should I sustain 
The proud implacable Comyn's rage, or how 
The loud reproach of Douglas ! 

Oh ! they would tear me from thee ; deep enshroud 
In some dark dungeon's cell this helpless form, 
Whence I might never, never see thee more ! 

Wal. 'Tis iix't then, every scruple hence, 'tis fix't, 
We will not part ! 



24 

Helen. Then am I blest again. 

WaL But list my purpose ; ere the morrow dawn, 
We march for Falkirk, thither too shalt thou : 
The faithful Kierly, whom I well ma} trust, 
Shall be thy safeguard while the battle joins. 
Thence if success attend us, 'tis resolved, 
In the full face of an approving world, 
Will I avow thee mine ; but if — and oh ! 
What mortal eye shall pierce the veil of fate, 
What mortal tongue prescribe how things shall be 
If for some end inscrutable to man, 
The tyrant foe prevail, thou'lt not refuse 
To take thy lot with me, with me to share 
A warrior's fortunes, and a wanderer's cheer : 
Wilt'thou, my Helen ? 

Helen. Oh with thee ! with thee ! 

Husband, dost hold me to thy heart, and yet 
Can'st ask that question ? 

WaL So— farewell awhile ; 

I fear my time — 
The chiefs in council met 
Already chide my stay ; nay, hold me not, 
This one embrace, and then — 

(Douglas suddenly enters from behind, and 
starts on beholding them.) 

WaL {embracing her) My heart's best bliss ! 
May every angel wait with outstretched wing 
To shelter thee from ill. \Exit. 

Doug. Do I live ! do I breathe ? 

Are these my hands I look on ? I must doubt it, — 
'Tis apparition all ! 

Helen. (as referring to her past discourse) 

Oh blissful sounds ! 
We will not part. 

Doug. She speaks — the charm's dissolved — 

It is her voice, and I am lost for ever. 

Helen, (who has remained looking after Wallace 
now turns round, her eye encounters D&uglas, and she 
remains as petrified with surprised.) 
Ha ! Douglas here ! 



25 

Doug. Even he, the wretched Douglas,— 

Who tho' divorced from every joy on earth \ 
Still lives for vengeance. (Drajring his sword and 
meditating to pursue Wallace. ) 

Helen, (rushing up) Vengeance! ha! on whom? 
Merciful Heaven ! what would'st thou do? 

Doug. I know not ; 

My brain's a chaos of conflicting passions ; 
Yet 'mid the warfare there one horror still 
Glares hideous o'er the rest ; the thought that all 
I e'er built up of bliss on this side Heaven, 
Is in one fatal moment dash'd to earth, 
And lost to me for ever ; let me pass. 

(Endeavouring to break from her.) 

Helen. Would you but hear ! 

Doug. Oil all ye powers, as yet, 
I had not heard enough ! away, away, — 
'Tis useless all ; by Heaven's whole host I swear, 
Yon haughty rival shall not carry it thus. 
No, were he fenced with circling legions, each 
Embattled sternly to oppose my way, 
Td thro' and thro 7 them, till his heart's best blood 
Had pour'd in expiation of his guilt! 

Helen. His guilt ! oh no, he knew not of thy love, 
Indeed he did not; here, before thine eyes, — 
Stir not— she stands who has alone deceived thee; 
On her then be thy vengeance wreak'd. 

Doug. Away, 

I neither hear thy words, nor guess their meaning ; 
Nay; 'tis in vain thou striv'st — thus, thus I break 
From your firm hold — 

Helen. Go then, thou frantic youth' 

Perform the 'vengeful purpose of thy soul: 
Strike at our country's hope, its heart and strength, 
The bulwark of its tottering liberties ; 
To whose devoted valour and achievements 
Thou with all Scotland owest thy present safety ! 

Doug, (aroused to a sense of shame, and dropping 
his sword) 
Ha ! how mine arm seems withered ! 

D 



26 

Helen. Strike him 'down, 

Him who preserved thy life! who, when the foe 
Had borne thee backwards in the battle fray, 
Flung o'er thy prostrate form, and made his own 
A shield, to guard thee 'gainst the opponents spears! 

Doug. In mercy spare — 

Helen. Nay, wherefore should'st thou pause ? 
Dost need a new incentive, think how Edward 
Will gift the hand that rids him of his foe ! 
Edward will give thee office, honour, wealth, 
A countless store ; and sure when weighed with these, 
Freedom, it were a feather in the scale ! 

Doug. Oh ! save me. Save me from that thought, 
just Heaven ! 
But I deserve it all; and more, much more 
Than bitterest scorn or hate can heap upon me ; 
For I'm the very blot and stain of honour. 
Yes, taunt, revile me, 'whelm my prostrate soul 
With keen upbraidings ; brand me for the slave, 
The veriest, vilest slave that ever fell 
Below the world's contempt : I'll bear it all. 

Helen. Art thou so penitent and full of shame ? 
Then hast thou not deceived me, but art still 
That which I ever thought thee ; that same Douglas, 
The kind companion of my earliest years. 
Oh those wild phrenetic words my passion uttered ! 
But thou'lt forget them, wilt thou not! and take 
These tears in token of my deep contrition ; 
For having wrung with such reproachful terms 
Thy generous nature ? What ! dost thou avoid me ? 

Doug. Avoid thee ! no, but 'tis in vain ; you must ; 
You cannot but despise me! 

Helen. Nay ; not so ; 

I know thee noble ; and a generous mind, 
Tho' swayed by passion it may sometimes err, 
Will, conscious of the wrong, regain its empire 
Even with recruited strength? Come ; think no more 

o'nt, 
Trust me, 'tis I have been the most to blame ; 
I, who so oft have proved thy worth, and yet 
Could hold thee as an enemy from my bosom. 



27 

But oh ! the great, the good, the godlike Wallace — 
What had he done ? he knew not of thy love ; 
Indeed thy thoughts had wrongfully accused him, 
If that— 

Doug. Oh cease ! I see it all— I feel 
Mine own un worthiness ; nor need'st thou urge 
That hero's worth, his fame, and great acquirements, 
To shew me the presumption of my hopes. 
Yet, had I earlier known— but let that pass — 
Thou lov'st him— and would'st fain become—his wife. 

Helen. lam his wife! Three moons have scarcely 
wain'd, 
Since at Dunbar we were, in secret, wedded. 
Dost thou not listen ? 

Doug, (aside.) Down my heart ; be still, 

Nor tell thine anguish. 

Helen. Wherefore stand you thus, 

With looks averse, and eyes bent down on earth ? 
You would not sure betray ? 

Doug. I ! I betray ! 

It is too much to swear I will not do it ! 
Thou can'st not, Helen— no, thou dost not think it. 

Helen. Indeed I do not; for upon that brow, 
As in the front of yonder Heaven, sits truth, 
Pourtrayed in undeniable characters. 
But how is this ? — you weep. 

Doug. (Unable longer to contain his emotions.) 

It is in vain. 
I can endure no more, ; and yet methinks, 
Might these few tears well find forgiveness here. 
For who, condemned to pine in endless night, 
Could quit his glimpse of Heav'n without one pang, 

One tear drop of regret; but, it is past. 

Nature awhile may boast a short-liv'd triumph, 
But the fix'd heart shall hold its purpose still. 

Helen. Exalted, generous youth ! 

Doug. Enough ; now mark ! 
How I have loved — witness these present pangs. 
But hear me, ye in Heaven ! while thus I swear 
To tear each fonder feeling from my breast, 
Save what a brother's love may sanction there ; 



28 

Nor leave one trace of that disastrous flame, 
That has so long consumed me — Helen ; yes, 
Be happy with the husband of thy heart ; 
And may each pang this breast is doom'd to prove, 
Be recompens'd in blessings on your head ! 

(After a pause, during which he surveys her for 
some time as if to collect fortitude.) 

Farewell ! [Exit. 

Helen, (looking after him.) Farewell ! and may 
thy guardian Saint, 
Where'er thou goest, watch over and preserve thee ! 

[Exit. 




SCENE III. 
The Council Chamber* 
Wallace, Comyn, Stuart, Monteith, Ramsay, &c. 

JVal. Thus then fame honored chie ftains have I 'rang'd 

My full array.-' -Lord Douglas, with his troop 

Of serried spearmen spreads along the front. 
Thou gallant Stuart, as beseems thy birth, 
Lead the left wing. My Lord of Comyn, thou 
With thy renown'd retainers, hold the right; 
While their light- horsemen stationed in the rear, 
Stout Seaton, Oliphant, and Hay assist, 
As in the course of action need demand. 

Monteith. (to Comyn aside.) Now, now, my Lord, 
the season is most apt 
To gall him in a vital point, and teach 
That lofty soul of his to know itself. 

Com. Doubt not my faith. 



29 



Enter Douglas, who approaches Wallace. 

Mon. (observing him) Ha ! Douglas ! on my soul 
He takes him by the hand — he smiles upon him ! 
Death to my hopes! (retiring.) 
Com. (Approaching Wallace with an assumed air of 

humility. ) Most high and mighty Sir, 
We your sworn warriors cannot but admire 
The deep and comprehensive skill, display'd, 
In this the disposition of your powers : 
But there remains one post as yet unnamed ; 
And if a humble individual 
Might so far trespass, we would fain inquire 
"Who leads the van ? 

JVal. (eyeing htm from head to foot ; then with great 
majesty) Your Regent and your Chief ! 

(A pause, after which turning off, he appears 
to give orders in the back ground.) 

Com. (to Nobles) Mark ye, my Lords— observe the 
silent scorn 
That fires his eye, and frowns on all around : 
So have I heard that on a certain time, 
The owl, as legends say, with self-conceit 
Puff 'd vainly up, would flaunt it o'er the tribe 
Of nobler birds, whose borrow d plumes he bore ! 

Doug, (starting indignantly from his seat.) 
And hast thou not heard too, that there were those 
Could talk it largely in the hall of peace, 
Who at broad noon, in the fair field of war, 
Haveblink'd indeed like owls, and shrunk away ? 

Com. How! this to me; address you this to me? 

Doug. To you, and all;— aye, chew your rage, my 
Lords— 
To all I say, of whatsoever degree 
Would fling their envious foams on worth and honour. 

Stuart. Ha! say'st thou, stripling ? 

Doug. Aye, thou haughty Lord, 

Nor more than with my sword I dare maintain. 



30 

Siuart. And dost thou threaten ? 

Doug, No, for that's to talk, 

And ever have I shun'd the strife of words. 

Siuart. Presumptious youth ! thy life — 

Mon. (interposing) Hold! hold! my lords, 
You go too far. 

Doug. Nay give his anger way : 

Howe'er it fret himself, it frights not me. 

Stuart. Now in the face of these assembled Thanes, 
My sword — 

Com. Draw, Chieftains, draw. 

Doug. Have at ye then. 

{The Chieftains on both sides draw their swords, 
Stuart and Douglas exchange a pass, when 
Wallace rushes unarm'd into the midst, and 
strikes up their weapons, then authoritatively) 

Wat. Hold ! I command ye ! peace and silence,chiefs ! 
And is it come to this? at such a time ? — 
Shame, shame ! put up your swords. 

(A confused murmur, Douglas and a few only 
obey.) 

JVal, (to the rest) And will ye not, 

Then mark me, Lords ; full well I wot the source 
Of these dissentient brawlings -, aye, and thus 
I hurl it at your feet ! 

(Throwing his truncheon on the ground.) 

Now, now, my lords, 
Your pleasures are accomplished. I resign 
My marshall's staff. Now take it he who will : 
My lord of Stuart, Angus, Athol, Lorn, 
Or you, my lord of Comyn ; you, 1 know 
Have look'd towards it with a wistful eye 
Full many a year ; you'll not refuse it sure ? 

Com. (co?ifused.) Insulter! but I'D be revenged 
for this. 

(Is going out when Monteith catches him by the 
arm.) 



31 

Mon. {aside.) Think, think, my Lord, the means 
are in your power; 
'Twere best our arms should want success to-morrow: 
You understand me S 

Com. And they shall, by Heaven. [Exit* 

JVal. Shame ! shame, ye cavaillers ! Is this a place, 
Is this a time for faction and cabal ? 
See ye not yonder where the tyrant's tents, 
Like the thick sleet by wint'ry tempests spread, 
Whiten your plains around ? And will ye then, 
Oh ! will ye in one factious hour forego 
All, all your glorious and long-cherish'd hopes 
Of fame and freedom ? Will ye sacrifice, 
At the rank altar of domestic broil, 
Your country's rights and everlasting weal? 

Stuart. No ! never ! never ! we have been to blame. 
Forgive us, gallant friend, we sheathe our swords. 
Prithee forgive, and as becomes the brave, 
Lead on the vanguard— Stuart is content. 

JVal. Here, from this hour then ends our difference ; 
And from my soul I joy in such a chief, 
Once more to clasp a comrade to my breast. 
But this the warriors courtesy ; {embracing.) and now 
Each to your several posts. — 

Yet first — but no— 
What need of words?— 1 see— ye grasp your swords, 
And each determined brow declares its purpose ! — 
Let then the loud war, like a bursting cloud, 
In thunders break upon them ! — On ye Brave I — 
And Heav'n_and good St. Andrew for our cause ! 

[Exit. 

(Followed by the Chieftains, while the curtain 
falls to the air of <( Scots wha ha wi 3 Wallace 
bled: 9 ) 



END OF THE SECOND ACT, 



3<2 



ACT III. 



SCENE I. 



A Plain, supposed to be near the Field of Battle. 
Drum and Trumpets as the Curtain draws. 

Enter Monteith, Fergus, <$c. hastily. 

Mon. Enough — ye have your orders ; at the side 
Of yon precipitous and secret glen, 
She waits the issue of the fight ; away, 
And fortune great as your designs attend you. 

[Exit. Fergus, with others. 
Aye, my young mistress ! tho' I nothing prize thee, 
As heaven who knows this heart will bear me witness, 
But as a step to my ambition ; still 
Thou must be mine, and shalt be ; thy broad lands, 
The means whereby I mount to glorious power ! 
Ha! Ramsay ^ 

Enter Ramsay. 

Whither ! from the field ? 
Ram. All's lost! 

Stuart lies low amid his slaughtered bands ; 
And Comyn, or from cowardice of heart, 
Or predetermined treachery, withholds 
His legions ; as a last resource — I haste 
To summon the reserve. (exit) 



33 

Mon. I seek the fight \ 

(Making a few steps to the side, then pausing) 
Why, this is well j the game goes bravely on ; 
Stuart, the Bute, is down ; and Cumbernauld 
Denies to lead his forces to the field ! 
Nay, Wallace, 'tis in vain thou striv'st ; in vain 
That right arm still so desperately deals 
The ponderous death-axe round ; thy sun hath spent 
Its meteor blaze, and sets to rise no more! [Exit. 

(Tumult from without — several Soldiers pass in 
disorder across the stage ; Douglas endeavor- 
ing to rally them.) 

Doug. Turn, turn for honour ' are ye Scots, and fly? 
Your freedom's standard, which thro 1 years of fame 
Has led to conquest, trampled in the dust! 
I charge ye, stand ! 

Sol. It is in vain we strive J 

Who shall withstand their numbers? 

TVal. (rushing in.) Wallace! I will- 

Yes, let contention thunder to the clouds, 
And ruin pour the purpling deluge on ; 
Here will I fix — and singly stem the tide, 
Till the foil'd waves back to their fount retire, 
Or 'whelm me in their rush ! 

Doug. Thou gallant heart! 

Oh, can ye gaze on worth like this, my friends, 
And seek inglorious flight? 

JVal. (with indignation.) Let them go all! 

Ye shivering hinds ! hence, to the lordly Edward ; 
Display a show of penitence, and beg him 
On bended knees to spare your recreant lives ! 
He will forgive ye, he is merciful — 
Most kind, and merciful ; — Oh, Scots! — Scots! — 
Heavens ! must I call you such ! — there was a time, 
When in a cause like this, your sires had stood 
Each undismayed against a host of tyrants; 
Reck'd not of numbers — no, nor felt a wound, 
While he who gave it lived ; — Oh, shame ! look there! 
See where the foe knee deep in carnage strives 

E 



34 

O'er your fallen countrymen ! — what ! — have ye 

hearts, 
Nor rush to instant vengeance ? 

Sol. Lead us on, 

We'll follow— to the death we'll follow Wallace! 

Wal. Ha ! — then, indeed there's hope — thou, 
Douglas, speed 
Eastward thy course— for there the gallant Gramme 
Doth urge unequal war ; and needs our succour— 
Myself will stem the assault — on comrades — on— 
And let the shout of liberty resound 
From hill to hill — till the loud echo shake 
The tyrants inmost soul— forward — 
Death '-—death, or victory ! 

Sol. Liberty and Wallace ! 

[Exeunt, tumultuously. 



SCENE II. 

A deep Glen, surrounded on all sides by lofty Banks, 
tyc. — Kierly and Helen discovered — Kierly has 
climbed an Eminence, and is looking out as at the 
Battle— Helen belozv. 

Bel. Canst thou see aught, good Kierly? 

Kier. O'er the plain 

Mine eye beholds a fierce and fiery mass, 
Confusedly-mix'd together— but no more- 
Thick clouds of dust forbid a further view. 

Helen. Moments of doubt and terror ! where art 
thou ? 
Now where art thou 'mid such surrounding perils, 
My heart's sole hope— mine own— own warrior, 
Wallace ? 



35 

Oh, wheresoever — watch o'er his precious safety — 
Protect him, heaven ! 

{Distant shouts from without. 
Ha I — hark • what sounds were those ? 

Kiev. By heaven ^and earth— 

'Tis as I fear'd — in that so desperate charge 
The foe have pierced our ranks — and vainly now 
May Scotland stem the assault — all — all is o'er. 

Helen. Sayst thou ? 

Kiev. They fly — on this and every side, 

Oh ! sight of shame ! they fly — 

Hel. And Wallace — speak— 

Kier. I can discern him not — 

Hel. And yet, oh fool <— 

Fool that I was to think it — would he fly ?*r- 
Would Wallace fly ? vain hope— he's dead, he's dead I 
And yet I live to say so ! 

Kier. Hah!— 'tis he! 

Yes, now I see him — he disdains to fly — 
Tho' press'd by numbers, still maintains his stand; 
High lifts his mailed arm, and shouts aloud, 
Alas ! how vainly — to his shattered bands, 
Who faint and flag behind ! — 

Hel. (falling on her knees) Save — save him, 
Heaven ! 

Kier. Oh, how he stems the opposing powers, 
and still 
Would reinforce the fight • — in vain —in vain — 
They press around — -they gird him singly in — 
They close upon him with o'erwhelming force — 
Oh, I can gaze no more ! 

HeL My mother earth ! — 

Thou last sole rest and refuge of the weary, 
Receive me to thy sheltering breast for ever ! 

(Sinking on a Bank- — Kierly descends.) 

Kier. By heaven he shall not be thus vilely lost — 
Where is Monteith ? the generous Graeme — the 

Douglas ? — 
Will they stand by, and see their champion slain ? 
It cannot be — myself will seek them out,— 
Will haste to save — but ah ! I had forgot — 

(Observing Helen, with concern.) 



36 



Hel. M*! rne ! away —waste not a thought on me ? 

(impatiently J—Still, still, thou tarriest. 
Kier. All Heaven's saints preserve thee I 

(he rushes out 

Enter Fergus, with others. 

Fer. Haste — haste ihee hence, fair lady — soon this 
spot 
Will all be covered o'er with clashing armies ; 
Oh ! haste thee hence — e're yet the speedier foe 
Shall intercept your way. 

Hel. I will not stir! — 

Go — seek thine own vile safety— hence away — 
And leave me here to die ! 

Fer, It must not be — 

Even now thy lord expects thee— 

Hel. Ha! mvlord! 

What lord ?— 

Fer. Thy husband, Wallace — even now 

He gave command that we should bear thee hence, 
Tow'rds yonder hillock, where himself attends 
To speed thee on thy journey. 

Hel. (wild with joy) Then he lives?— - 

Freed from the toils that compassed him — he lives? 

Fer. He does— tho' sorely from the strife of death, 
o'erspent and weary — 

Hel, But he lives !— he lives !--- 

(dropping on her knees) 
For that I bend in thankfulness to Heaven! 
Oh ! let us hence— he waits me as you say — 

Fer. Beneath yon hillock — whence he bade me 
tell, 
(For urgent need forbids his presence here—) 
It was his purpose to conduct thee straight 
To some asylum on the seaward shores, 
Of southmost Carron. 

Hel Then away to him— - 

Each moment teems with fear— till truly safe 
I feel me clasp'd in his protecting arms ! [Exeunt. 



37 

Enter Monteith. 

Mon. They have her ! — Fortune— I absolve thee 
now 
For all unkindness past— the game's mine own : 
See — see, they hurry her across the glen — 
The steeds are all in needful readiness— 
They mount — they scour the plain ! 

{a retreat sounded) 
Ha? — a retreat ! — 'tis so — they come this way — 
How will it tear the husband's soul, to see 
His Helen lost ! — I'd stay to hear him rave ; 
And make me merry with his miseries — 
But from the fear my tiansports might betray me ! 

[Exit. 
IVal. (from without) Command they set a stand- 
ard on the hills, 
To guide our scattered powers — for there we'll join 

them. 
(Entering with others) Come, let us hence my Helen 

— Kierly, hoaJ 
Helen — where art thou? — 'tis thy Wallace calls thee. 
Kierly, I say — 

Enter Kierly. 

Kier. My chief— 

IVaL He comes alone !— 

Where is thy precious charge? — thy mistress— speak ! 

Kier. Is she not here, my lord ? 

WaL Thou seest ! 

Kier. In sooth 

I cannot guess— 'twas in this spot I left her — 

WaU My mind misgives me — was it in this spot? — 
Art sure of that ? 

Kier. In this same spot, my lord. — 
And ha !— behold a voucher for my truth — 

(taking up a veil that has been left on the bank) 



38 

Wal. Away! hence some of ye, and skirt the 
Glen ; 
Search every thicket, every hidden dell,— 
Perchance she may have wandered heedless on, 
And lost her ira these wildering labyrinths— 
Perchance, oh, horror ! what a thought was there ! 
Some straggling parties of the foe,— perchance ! 
It must be so ; why then tis useless all ; 
She's lost for ever! irretrievably lost! 
(Seizing Kizr\y) Villain and slave ! at such a time 

to leave her— 
How didst thou dare — ha! hold, forgive me, Kierly, 
(Relinquishing his hold) 'Twas in my cause! I knew 

not what I said ; 
Thou would'st have pluck'd me 1rom surrounding 

deaths, 
At peril of thy life! 

Kier. My dear, dear master ! 

f¥al. And is she gone ! the sole remaining bliss 
This wretched heart could owo neravished 

from me! 
Fate ! fate ! there needed not this stroke to sink me ! 
Oh, Helen! oh, my wife! my wife! 

(Cries from without of" A Douglas." 
Wal. (starting) What sound was that? did ye 
not hear? again — 
Ha !— yes— it is my Helen !— 



Enter Douglas, leading in Helen, who throws herself 
into the Arms of Wallace. 

Hel. Oh! my lord ! 

That I am thus restored to thee again, 
Thanks to this generous youth — whose timely aid 
Has snatched me from I know not what of peril. — 

Wal Ha ! Douglas ! 

Doug, (approaching) Do not turn away— I read- 
In those averted looks too plainly read 
The full emotions of that generous heart. 



39 

Nor, trust me* come I at a time like this, 
(The foe victorious, and our slaughter'd friends 
Yet warm and weltering on the ensanguined plain) 
To add to thy distresses — but to soothe them — 
Hear me, my Wallace — (taking his hand) — it was 

ne'er in fate 
To bless the Douglas with his heart's sole hope— 
And yet be witness every power above, 
That ne'er was hope so twin'd around the heart 
As this — to call that heavenly fair my wife ! 
Tis past ! 'tis o'er! tis gone from me for ever! — 
I have now no happiness but thine — no hope 
Save that — to see ye in each other blest ! — 

Wal. Douglas, I fain would speak to thee — would 
tell thee, 
Thou excellent young man — 1 cannot! all 
Is so full here — but let my silence thank thee ! 

Doug. Enough ! thy hand— and thou, my sister-^ 
thine — 
Now prithee heed me well — while here in sight 
Of heaven and man, I solemnly confirm 
With mine own voice, all sacred ties between ytfu »— * 
Protect her, Wallace ! with a watchful zeal 

Shield her from every want— from every woe 

(His voice faultering) And be to her — what Douglas 

would have been, 
Had the kind heavens but smiled upon his suit. 

Wal. My brother, stay ; for 'tis in vain you'd strive 
To spare your friend the sight of it — I see, 
I feel your woe ! 

Doug. And if the treasure cost 

No pang at parting, were it worthy thee ? 
But in the din of war I'll henceforth drown 

These. woman's feelings ; and tho' lost to love 

Be to the field of danger ever found 
In the maintaining of my country's cause. 
Farewell ! I would not pain thee by my presence ; 
An hour returns me, Wallace, to thy troop. 
(Approaching Helen) Yet at the shrine where he 

so long hath worship 'd, 
Ere the poor pilgrim take his final leave, 
(Kneeling) Thus let him bend in humble adoration 



40 

Thus crave to print one parting sad adieu 
On what he ne'er must hope to visit more — 
{Kissing her hand, then rising) Farewell ! Farewell ! 

[Exit. 
Wah Oh, good and great and glorious ! — well my 
friends, 
My firm and faithful little band, thank Heaven 
We're yet entire ! this standard too redeemed, 
Again may toss its blazonry aloft, 
And stream defiance to the foes of freedom ! 
Meantime to seek yon wild and wooded shores, 
Where we have fixed to join our scattered forces : 
Have with ye, friends ; and thou, my Helen— e'en, 

While yet thy wedded warrior can protect thee 

Come ; thro' each hazard, every imminent strait, 
We'll hail thy innocence our surest guard. [Exeunt. 



SCENE III. 

A Wood. 
Enter Monteith, followed by Fergus. 

Mon. Traitors and slaves ! 

Fer. Yet hear me, good my Lord. 

Mon. Hear thee ! away ! canst disannul the fact ? 
Has she not 'scaped me ? like an empty shade, 
Even as I rush'dto clasp her, vanish'd from me? 
Oh, I could curse myself, and you, and all 
That let her thus be lost ! 

Fer. Indeed, my Lord, 

The fault was not with us ;— we had her sure ; 
When as our steeds had reach'd the rivers brink, 
The Douglas by her shrill and piercing cries 
Attracted — 



41 

Mon. Well ! I know it all — 

(A pause, during which he appears disturbed.) 

In sooth 
I'm little bound to thank him — that dark power, 
Or be he saint or demon, or whate'er 
May have presided at my natal hour, 
Who thus obtrudes o'er me aud my concerns 
His baleful influence !— but ye 'scaped unknown ! 
So so, there's consolation still in that— 
Hold, let me see — where said you, Wallace leads 
His scanty powers ? 

Fer. E'en now, my Lord, across 

Yon neighbouring valley tow'rds the river side. 

Mon. (musing) And takes her with him ! well, 
it matters not; 
The net I now prepare involves them both. 
Ha ! yes, it shall be so ; — 1*11 hence to Edward ; 
While Wallace lives, he still must fear a foe, 
An open, deadly and implacable foe! 
Say then at once, that to the Southron's hands 
I yield him up ; he has his certain doom, 
And I his widow'd wife, as rny reward. 
Hoa ! Fergus ! 

Fer. (Advancing) Good, my Lord. 

Mon, Away ! and watch the movements of yon 
troop ; 
Set spies at every outlet ; watch them well ; 
Then straight despatch a messenger in haste 
To tell me where they fix — [Exit Fergus. 

yet hold awhile — 
Should he retire, as I incline to think, 
Tow'rds his original hold, amid the rocks, 
There vainly might a host attempt to take him. 
Still then to wear the mask ; still seem as sworn 
To share his fate— our long apparent love 
Will be my pledge of faith ; and what remains, 
But that absolved of danger, and apart 
From all observance, to the toils I lure 
His credulous step ? which done, the rest is easy. 

[Exit. 

F 



42 



SCENE IV. 



A Mountainous View on the Banks of the Carron, bounded 
by thick Woods and Precipices — Wallace, ivith his 
Troop appear descending a Pass among the Rocks — 
they range themselves in front — Wallace advancing. 



Wal. Welcome ye rude and everduring wilds I 
Ye rocks and mountains! — since it must be so — 
Thank Heaven your shades remain a refuge still 
From fraud and tyranny— here, here at least 
We may respire in freedom ! — Kierly, say, 
Has care been taken that the Lady Helen 
Rests, as beeomes her state? 

Kiev. It has, my Lord. 

(Enter Ramsay, hastily.) 

Wal. How now ? 

Ram. Oh, pardon, Wallace, that I come 

The messenger of ill. 

Wal. Say on^— I hear thee. 

Ram. Scotland hath sold her to eternal shame ! 
But now, as I have learnt, from Stirling's porch, 
The recreant Comyn, Athol, and the rest 
Of those cold hearted Lords, came cowering forth, 
And on bent knees before the haughty Southron, 
Swore fealty to Edward. 

Wal. Patience ! heart — 

Fealty to Edward!— reptiles!— grovelling reptiles! — 
Their children's shame — their country's curse pursue 

them ! 
? Tis past then— Freedom ! thou hast spurned a race 
Unworthy to possess thee— and on wing 
Of righteous indignation borne, art fled 
For ever hence ! What then remains to me, 



43 

Who nine long years have laboured to preserve thee? 

Must I no more attend thy sacred call; 

But like a slave — oh ignominy ! — learn 

To lick the foot that treads me to the earth ? 

Curse on the thought ! no, let the world beside 

Bow to the tyrants bidding — thou, my soul, 

Still shalt assert thy rights — maintain thy freedom! 

Enter Douglas. 

Doug. Quick, bring me to vour Chief — Oh ! 
Wallace, fly- 
Fly this accursed land of death and chains ; 
Or horrors wait thee — that my baffled tongue 
Wants strength to utter. 

Wal. Nay, proceed, and boldly — 

Whate'er the event 1 have a soul to meet it ! 

Doner. Thus then — the ignoble council of the land 

o • fa 

Have, with one voice, denounced thee as a traitor ! 

Nay further, have decreed, that not your virtues, 

Your long desert, and sufferings in their cause, 

Shall save you from an ignominious doom : 

A guilty price is set upon your head, 

And death proclaimed 'gainst all that harbour you « f 

Wal. Ha ! Traitor ! — 'twas the word — Wallace 
and traitor ! 
Down climbing heart, be patient and endure I 
Said he not traitor ? Ha 1— I did not think 

To be thus infamized — but let it pass 

There's a tribunal here {strikes his breast) that will 

acquit me! (zvitli a burst of indignation^) 

Traitor ! . 

Doug. Alas ! his words are wild ; his looks 

Unform'd as clouds amid the shifting storm ! 
'Twas as I fear'd, too much for his great heart. 

Wal. {endeavouring to overcome his emotions) 
Not so — 'tis past— the stroke was somewhat sudden — 
But it is past — and all within is still ! 
The scaffold — aye, it is a meet reward 
For freeing an oppressed race from bondage ; 



44 

Chains too,— 'tis well,— -these limbs have yet of pith 
Sufficient to sustain the heaviest weight 
Oppression can impose ! why pause ye then? 
Lo ! where I stand, unarm'd, approach and bind me ! 

(Throwing away his sword and stretching forth 
his arms.) 



Doug. Bind thee ! and could'st thou think—but 
I am dumb. 

WaL Tut! this forbearance lives not in your hearts' 
What, tho' thro' years I've led ye on to conquest, 
To hard earn'd fame— in common with the meanest, 
Encounter' d want and woe, fatigue and danger ; 
When faint with famine, and our only food 
Such casual viands as the swell of the tide 
Flung on the frothy shore, I've shar'd my morsel 
Unsparingly with all — and won at length, 
Even as it were from her abode in Heaven, 
Reluctant Liberty !— what recks it now ? 
'Tis past, 'tis nothing— wherefore should it sway ye ? 

Doug. Oh Wallace ! this to us, thine own fast 
friends ? 
Beshrew me now, but 'tis unkindly said ! 
Have we preserved our faith inviolate 
Thro' every ebb and flow of changeful fortune, 
Thus long, and think'st thou we could e'er betray ?— 

JVal. (hastily) Ye will not then, ye will not give 
me up 
To ignominious bonds ? Yet pause awhile,* — 
"Revolve the late decree of Scotland's Lord ! 
" Who harbours or abets the proscribed outlaw, 
The— traitor Wallace"— think 

Doug. It weighs not with us ; — 

Lo ! where in sight of Heaven I draw my sword, 
And dedicate my faith to thee and freedom. 

(Kissing the blade in token of his oath) 
Ram* Thine be the voice of all. 



45 

Doug. Tis nobly said ! 

Swear then my comrades, swear, whate'er betide, 
Thro' every chance and change, thro' weal or woe, 
To stand or fall with liberty and Wallace ! 
Swear on this steel — 

(Presenting his sword, they are about to take 
the oath required, when Wallace hastily 
interposes.) 

TVaL No, no,— no oaths ! 

If in your hearts a voice, as one from Heaven, 
Cry not " to arms, to arms against oppression," 
Away at once : oaths will not bind thee more. 

Doug. Such is the force I own within this breast. 

Bam. And I. 

Kier. And all. 

Wal. (exultingly) Then are ye conquerors ! 
Yes, conquerors, ev'n in death — the soul can still 
Triumph o'er thraldom in its latest gasp \ 
Brave hearts ! once more my spirit towers within me ! 
Thus leagued, methinks I could in safety stand 
Against the war of worlds — yet is there one 
Amid your ranks, mine eye in vain requires, 
And fain would find : tell me, —I fear to ask- 
Where is Monteith ? He fell not in the conflict. 

Doug. He lives, but 

Wal. Hah ! I understand — a slave ! 

In sooth I deem'd not this : there rests but then 
To add, henceforward, Cousin, we are twain I 
Come, let us on — there is a secret path, 
Habitual to my tread, that thro' yon glen, 
In winding maze, doth lead to a retreat 
Among the rocks of Clyde— a sanctuary 
That tyrant force might strive in vain to pierce ; 
There let us fix ; and watch thro' slav'ry's night 
For vengeance on the oppressor ! forward friends, 
Wallace still lives for Scotland ! [Exeunt. 



END OF THE THIRD ACT. 



4p 



ACT IV. 



SCENE I, 



A Deep Glen, surrounded on all sides by stupendous 
Rocks and Precipices, and interspersed ivith Tall Pines, 
Brushwood, bjai — Night — the Sky has every appearance 
of an approaching Storm — Wallace is discovered reclining 
against a Pock. 

Wallace, solus. 

Wal. It will not be — slumber — thou too art leagued 
With an unthankful country to forsake me ! 
Then welcome storm and darkness. (rising. 

Here, methinks, 
In this drear desert I should dwell alone : 
And with the spirit of these mountains share 
His independence ! Here, amid these wilds, 
Whose earliest habitants, yon lofty pines, 
High lift their bold heads to the liberal heavens, 
And mock the tyrant blast ! — tis well— the storm 
Drives on apace. How lowers yon labouring sky ! 
The very night-bird, with instinctive dread 
Scared by its ominous aspect, quits her prey •; 
And with shrill note, outstrips the hurrying rack 
To screen her 'gainst the tumult : with like awe 
The wild-wolf seeks the covert of his cave. 
Above, around, below— all nature shrinks 
Appaird— save Wallace ! He alone — with soul 
That mingles in the tempest— woos its rage ! 

( Thunder and lightning. 
Aye roll !— Ye thunders, roll !— Terrific lightnings 
Flash your fork'd iires around me — here I'll sit, 

(Seating himself on a Rock. 



47 

And deem your horrors heaven, to that worst hell 
Of ease, enjoy'd but at a tyrants will ! 

(Thunder and Lightning. 

Enter Monteith as in pursuit. 

Mon. This way he pass'd-— thanks to that friendly 
gleam 
Of lightning- which revealed him to my view ! 
So, having track'd the quarry to his covert, 
Aid me dissimulation, while I learn, 
If haply any of his followers lurk 
Ambush'd amid these rocks : I should be loth 
Their presence intervened to mar my projects. 

Wat. Ho! there— what thing art thou, who thus 
beneath 
This double night of darkness and of storm 
Steal'st on the lions liberty ? 

Mon. A friend 

To thee and Scotland. 

IVal. Ha ! Monteith ! tis so. [aside* 

{Advancing.) How sayest thou, friend P 'Tis a fair 

sounding word : 
But, I will tell thee, that beneath the face 
Of fairest friendship, oft'imes ambush'd lie 
Dark fraud, and covert policy : away ! 
I know thee not. 

Mon. And yet the time has been, 

Thy. heart had leapt to greet me! 

Wal. Possibly— 

I have been weak as others in my day : 
But, years are monitors bring with them more 
Than furrows or gray hairs — I know thee not. 

Mon. I will not think it— no— 'tis gross to faith, 
That thou should'st look with timorous distrust 
On him, thy friend, thy long loved friend, Monteith ! 

Wal. Monteith ! why aye, I do remind me now ; — 
Even so, thou wert my friend \ 

Mon. And am so still. 

Wal. Indeed ! then lend an ear to a friend's counsel, 
And get thee hence. 



48 

Mon. Dost mean ? 

JVal. As I have said. 
Wouldst thou not pull destruction on thy head, 
Make from my presence, fly me, for I stand ; 
A tottering* tower upon destruction's brink, 
Ready to fall, and with my crushing weight 
Whelm prop and stay in one wide spreading ruin ! 
Hence then ! I've warned thee, lose not a moment. — 

Mon. Never ! 

No, here I'll fix, nor shalt thou throw me off! 
Oh Wallace, friend, (for such I still must call thee,) 
Say, whence is this, and wherefore that alone, 
And all unguarded, thou dost quit the camp, 
Like a pale spirit from the shrouding earth 
Unloosed, to wander 'mid these desolate wilds ? 

JVal. It likes the habit of my temper ; mark me! 
Thou say'st these rocks are desolate ; 'tis true ; 
And dost thou wonder that a kindred gloom 
Has still its charm ? 

Mon. This is no answer. 

JVal. No ? 

Then I will speak thee plainer— this wide circus 
Where solitude hath girt her with a zone 
Of rock on rock — these crags, whose mightier spires, 
High tower to heaven ; these rushing cataracts, 
Majestic monuments of untamed nature, 
Are free ! all free ! even as the soul of Wallace ! 
They hold their rights, not at a despots will, 
But by primeval charter, unprofaned 
Since the world was ; the air that blows on them, 
Has ne'er been tainted by the breath of slavery \ 
The earth that holds them 
Has ne'er been blasted by the tyrants tread ! 
'Tis here alone dwells Liberty ; and here 
Would I, apart from man, contemplate her ! 
Now art thou answered ? 

Mon. Nobly, nobly answered ! 

Now do I recognize my friend again, 
Such as when first he drew the conquering sword— 

JVal. No more of that ; trust me, I still am Wallace ; 
Time hath not warp'd, nor fear reversed my nature ; 
I still am Wallace ! 



49 

Mon. These ambiguous words— 

I wist not of their purport. 

JVal. Say you so ? 

This then it is — that I am still unchanged ; 
Nor own like thee allegiance to a tyrant ! 

Mon. Now, on my soul, my knighthood, and mine 

honour 

JVal. Honour ! 
Mon. Yet hear me. 

JVal. Well then, on thine honour — 

One word suffices ; art thou not — a slave ? 

Mon. No! by yon heavens that from their ebon 
heights 
Look frowning down, as if intent to crush me, 
Should I speak falsely, on my knees, I swear, 
That what I ever was to thee, (and sure 
Thou ne'er hadst cause to doubt me,) such I am! 
JVal. Ah ! couldst thou hold thee there— wert thou 
indeed 

The man that once I knew thee 

Mon. Wherefore else 

Would I have traced you to this solitude ? 
Would I have sought thro' toil and travail thus 
Your abject fortunes? this alone methinks 
Might speak my truth ; you say you knew me once, 
Oh, never, or you neVr could doubt me now. 

JVal. {aside.) I've been to blame; yes, by this 
heart I have ; 
Still is he true — still — still my friend. 

Mon. Alas ! 

I can no more, if this avail not with thee — 
Yet, by our former brotherhood of love, 
By all those thousand nameless ties— in vain, 
My heart, 'tis there, I have it not in words ! 
Wal. Monteith! 

Mon. That word, I see, thou dost relent ; 

Thou wilt receive me to thee ; press once more 
This hand of friendship, which if stained with shame, 
Be thou assured, I dared not proffer thee ! 

Wal. Away with hands ! I want thee to my heart; 
Thsre rest for ever! 

G 



50 

Mon. {significantly) Now thou*art mine indeed ! 

Wal. Prithee forgive my doubts ; I did but try thee \ 
Ingratitude, my friend, hath sorely wrung 
This heart of late, and made me, as I fear, 
Strangely mistrustful. 

Mon. Think of it no more ; 

Hold! I have tidings shall new nerve thy spirit ; 
What time that ill-star'd hour o'er hapless Scotland 
Proclaimed the Southron King, I and some chiefs, 
Who spurned alike with thee a foreign yoke, 
Fled to yon rocky fastness, thence to join 
Beneath the shadowy night thy distant camp ; 
And chance so well hath favoured our design, 
That now at Cora's foot, full many a brave 
And hardy warrior waits to call thee leader. 

Wal. There may be life in this — quick— bring them 
hither. 

Mon. I haste to summon them ; but tell me this— 
Where hold thy followers their nightly watch ? 

Wal. Beneath yon southmost heights, that brow 
the vale ; 
Where from above, the frequent cataract, 
Hoarse sounding down its rocky channel, spreads 
3 nto an open lake — be but your guide 
The torrents roar — you will not fail the spot. 
Farewell! (retiring to the back ground. 

Mon. (Regarding him with an expression of tri- 
umph.) Why, fare thee well ! thou cheated fool ! 
The snares set — the blood hounds are abroad ; 
And true as ever started from the slips, 
Wait but my word to cheer them on their prey. 

[Exil 

Wal. (advancing). There is a stillness on me, which 
till now 
Long time I have not felt, an intense calm, 
Such as o'er stilled nature oft foretells 

Dark change at hand, and dire convulsions 

(A bugle note heard from without.) Ha ! 

What sound was that ? (a pause.) 

It could not be 

(A bugle again, and nearer. 



51 

Betray'd ! 
Nay then, my faulchion ! thou hast been proved 'ere 

now — 
I have thee still ! 

(Drawing his Sword ;— a Detachment of amid 
Soldiers appear from among the Rocks, in 
front of Wallace.^) 

Offi. This is the man we seek ? 

Wallace, thou'rt in our power ! 

Wal. Thy power ! Fool ! 

Think not to take me tamely; tho' hem'd in 
'Tangled with snares— unarmed— and alone, 
It still is Wallace, whom ye have to cope with ! 
Here, firm as Ailsa rock, I make my stand ! 
Fall on then, ye, that with combined brands 
Dare front the desperate lion iu his lair : 
Fallon!- 



The Soldiers are appall d— and stand irresolute 
— when Monteith, wild ivith rage, dashes 
thro' the ranks — and stations himself at their 
head.) 

Mon. What— dastards ! — hold ye back dis- 

mayed ? 
Upon him ! I — Monteith stand forth to lead ye ! 
Yes— I throw off the veil ! thou dupe ! behold 
Thy deadliest foe ! tho' haired long hath slumb^ed, 
Now — now it wakes to crush thee ! 

OYallace stands as stupified, his sword having 
dropt his from grasp.) 

Monteith to Guards.) Ho! there— chains; 
Chains for the Wallace ! it were well to bind him 
While thus his frozen faculties are lost 
In nerveless wilderment ! 

(Chains are fastened on his wrists as he stands still uncon- 
scious of what is passing around him.) 

Mon. Now let me look on thee ! 

What, not a word ? enrapt and motionless, 
Spell-bound to earth ? be rooted there and wither ! 
(a loud burst of thunder.) 



52 

Wal. (slowly recovering, and looking around him.) 
Where am I ? hush my soul ! 'tis nothing real — 
I dream— my senses wander— 

Mon. Say you so ? 

Then must I fully wake thee — Wallace, hoa ! 
Wallace, I say ! thou shackled captive, hear me \ 
While with a voice of thunder, thus I shout 
My triumph to thy teeth ! {another clap of thunder.) 

Wal. {with his eyes fixed on high) Oh monster ! 
monster ! 
I look tow'rds Heaven in vain • the storm rides on— 
The lightnings strike him not 1 

Mon. And art thou fallen ? 

HuiTd from that matchless and meridian height, 
Where eagle like thou soaredst ? yet revenge 
Is hut in part appeased— the greater still 
Remains 

Wal. I pray thee, southron, lead me hence ; 

I am your prisoner ; whither must I go ? 

Mon. Hold, I command ! Nay, thou shalt hear, and 
more, 
Shalt own that I have had good cause to hate thee ! 
\ <oce from the dawn of youth, thou still hast been 
My deadliest lett : in council, in the field, 
Usurp'd the post due to my elder worth, 
And rank superior! for till thou appear' d 
I was my country's hope, her first in arms, 
And honour' d as her King ! 'twas thou, 'twas thou 
Like a fell pest, wither'd my ripening hopes, 
Obscured my fortunes, and eclipsed my fame. 
Think not Monteith could idly brook such wrong ; 
No, tho' apparently thy firmest friend, 
My hate, like lightning from a veil of clouds, 
Has oft-times reach'd thee ! know 'twas I, (for this 
Doth memory cherish in her proudest annals) 
Led on the Southrons on that glorious night, 
That gave thy Castle to the enveloping flame, 
Thy sire to death! I stood, and saw the steel, 
All hot with gore, drawn from his reeking heart- 
Saw, and approved the deed ! 



53 

JVaL Oh ! O, my brain ! 

(Then rushing wildly forward.) 
Will not the earth gape wide, and swallow him ! 
And you, ye heavens ! that hear, nor instant down 
Hurl your avenging bolts— is it in mercy 
That ye withhold them ?— no, for ye have none, 
No torments to requite such monstrous crimes ! 

M011. Say on, thy words are music to my sense ! 
More, more to soothe me ! 

JVal. (rushing up to him) Execrable fiend ! 
What power withholds, that now, I rush not on thee, 
Drag thee to earth, tear out thy treacherous heart, 
Or with these chains uplifted, dash thee dead ! 
{then checking himself) — But no, I'd have thee live, 

live to despair, 
Live to feel all the horrors of thy guilt; 
Which with a punishment, more deep and damning 
Than all the torments hell can heap upon thee, 
Shall goad thy soul for ever ! 

(he is overcome by his emotion, and throws himself 
against a rock) 
Mon. Hence, away \ 

Hence, soldiers, with your prisoner to his fate « 
Mark me, the inglorious fate, that fits a traitor! 
(retiring to the side, and surveying Wallace with an 
air of triumph) — Expand my soul ! thou art at full 
appeased ! (Exit) 

(the officer waves his sword as a sign to proceed) 

Wal. Hold ye awhile! I am your prisoner; 
Prepared to bow me to whatever fate 
Shall seem your Monarch good ; let me but look 
Once more on scenes, which when mine eyes resign, 
They ne'er must meet again ! My much loved country ! 
And you, ye earliest haunts of life's career ! 
Take, take my latest look ! heaven is my witness, 
That to the last I struggled to preserve ye ! 
That even thus, thus captive as I am, 
My sole exclusive cares are for your welfare ! 
Land of my Fathers, fare thee well ! I go 
To chains, to death J where serpent falsehood weaves 



54 



No secret snares — where all is peace, and freedom! 
Yet one look more— be pardon 'd these few tears — 
They are my last—now lead me hence for ever ! 

(Exeunt. 



SCENE II. 

A rocky landscape. 

Ramsay aud Kierly meeting. 

Ram. Ha ! Kierly, whence this eager haste ? 

Kiev. All's lost ! 

Our glorious chief by Southron troops surprised, 
And carried from us ! 

Ram. Then all's lost indeed ! 

But say, by whose curst treachery — ? 

Kier. Hear and judge ; 

As on the rocks I held observant watch, 
The band in triumph passed me ; our bold chief 
Held in vile chains ! and at their head exultant, 
(If that I saw him, and no demon 
To mock my sight, assumed his well known form,) 
The Thane Monteith ! 

Ram. Monteith ! 

Kier. Even he ! 

Ram. His friend ! 

Oh monstrous perfidy ! unheard of baseness ! 
But whither went they ? say— 

Kier. Towards the heights 

That wend to Cora Lyn. 

Ram. No more, but fly- 

Call up Lord Douglas, and alarm our troop : 
Myself with yon few veterans that guard 
The southern pass, will track these base invaders: 
Away, and let it fire thy zeal to think, 
'Tis Wallace! Wallace ! whom we strive to rescue. 

[exeunt. 



55 



SCENE III, 



A romantic vale surrounded by rocks, supposed to be near 
the encampment of Wallace. As the scene draws, a con- 
fused noise from without. 



Enter Monteith, 

Mon. So ! by those sounds the encampment, as I 
guess 
Have learnt the tidings of their leaders capture. 
'Tis well ; amid the tumult this occasions 
Will I bear off his wife ! 

(a whistle from without.) 
And hark ! my signal 
Tells me, oh lucky chance, she comes this way ; 
Doubtless in quest of her lost lord ! in sooth 
'Tis even beyond my hopes. 

Enter Helen. 

Helen Ye trembling knees 

Yet, yet a little bear me on : in vain — 
This gloom forbids to thread the perplex'd maze 
Of these rude rocks, and my unpractised feet 
Wander unknowing wither ! oh my lord, 
My Wallace ! where, where art thou ? is there none 
Will tell me if he lives, if yet he lives, 
Or whence this wild disorder ? (seeing Monteith and 

running up to him.) — Ha ! Monteith! 
Tell it me all — my Wallace— oh thou know'st 
What I would ask. 

Mon. {turning away.) Alas ! 

Helen. You turn away ! 

Ha ! then 'tis horrible ! you dare not tell me, 
But speak, for I have strength to hear the worst, 
It will not, no, I think it will not kill me. 

Mon. Then hear that worst, and oh with patience 
hear it ; 
Thy Wallace, as I gather, from his friends 



56 

Too far adventuring', was beset o'th sudden 
By a stray band of Southrons, and 

Helen Was slain ! 

Mon. Not so, I deem that to some distant tower — 

Helen Does he still live ? 

Mon. He does. 

Helen Of that assured, 
All other ills must now appear as nothing ! 
But whither have they led him ? oh declare, 
That I more swift than winds that sweep the plain, 
May follow and o'ertake him, to my breast 
Once, once again enfold 

Mon. What phrensy's this? 

Follow, o'ertake him I heavens! and would'st t hou 

quit 
Thy country, kindred, friends? 

Helen All ; all for him ! 

To die with him, for whom alone I've lived ! 
Aye, Wallace, to the last thy desperate wife 
Will grapple to thy ruinous fortunes ; share 
Thy dungeon doom, and, if it needs must be, 
Cling to thy heart, in life's last agony / (is rushing 
out.) 

Mon. Oh hold ! e're yet you tread the paths of 
death, 
Hold yet awhile, or stay at least to hear 
Your Wallace's parting words. 

Helen His parting words? 

Mon. Yes, for the hour is come to make them 
known : 
Since he must die— ha ! hold / I did not mean 
To wake anew your woes — 

Helen Say on, say on ! 

Mon. Thus then, if fate, he said, if pitless fate, 
E'er throw me into Edward's hands, 
To thee, Monteitb, as to my best-loved friend, 
I do bequeath my Helen ; be she thine, 
Thy wife ; as such thou wilt protect and love her : 
Nor will she, if her Wallace e'er was dear, 
Refuse him this, his last and sole request. 



57 

Helen (after a pause) My soul is staggered !— 
surprise and doubt 
My senses reel ! I know not what to think ; 
Such were not, could not be the words of Wallace! 
Thou hast belied him ! ha ! a light from heaven 
Flares on my brain ; but no, thou could'st not do it, 
Thou coulds't not, — hast not — sold him to the foe ? 

Mon. What foul suspicion's this ? 

Helen Oh, no ; thou hast not ; 

He was thy friend— he loved thee— dearly loved thee ; 
Honoured and trusted thee — with that firm faith 
That virtuous men have in the God they worship, 
Leant on thy love ; ye were bred up together, 
Your studies, sorrows, joys, hopes, fears the same: 
Wild that I was to think it— I have wronged thee, 
But thou'lt forgive me — I have foully wrong' d thee ; 
Ha ! have I not, Monteith ? 

Man. (aside) What folly this ! 

A weak girl's idle words to daunt me thus ! 

Helen. It staggers him! oh, all ye blessed powers! 
It staggers him ! what, what am I to think ? 
Tell me, Monteith, yet pause ere thou repliest : 
Reflect the eye of heaven is now upon thee I 
And sees each separate movement of thy soul! 
Oh then — as if before its high tribunal — 
Nay, do not turn away— but look upon me! 
(A pause.) As I stand here— he cannot— 'tis confess'd, 
He cannot ! see, his sunk and heavy eyes, 
Will not be raised from earth ! his inmost soul 
Writhed in its own foul consciousness of guilt 
Shrinks in abash'd— before a poor weak woman ! 
Oh villain! villain! (with a shudder, and recoiling 
from him.) 

Monteith, (recovering himself.) Then thou know'st 
me ! hence 
Each vain disguise ! again I rise, and shake 
Dissimulation as a cumbrous garment 
From my disburthen'd soul ! Thy husband, woman, 
Aye, thou hast rightly said, 'twas I betrayed him : 
I hated, and I sold him to the foe ! 
Sold him for thee ; .for thee the precious price 
Of such a glorious deed ; the sole reward 
I ask'd at Edward's hands ! 

H 



58 

Helen, (as stupijied by the avowed of his guilt, then 
recovering herself.) Oh horrible ! horrible! 

Mou. Come, come, away with these wild starts 
and shudderings — 
'Tis useless all : be wise, be wise and hear me. 
Think thou would'st tread the dark and dangerous 

path 
That leads to shame, to misery, to ruin ; 
While riches honours, pomp, power, grandeur, all 
The world holds precious — woo thee to be blest! 
Art thou a woman, and can'st view unmoved 
What all thy sex beside would risk their lives — 
Aye, and their souls too to obtain. Can'st see 
Such rich and tempting fruit, (oh fairer sure 
Than e'er of old the Hesperian orchards bore) 
Hang in thy grasp, and yet refuse to pluck it. 
Oh blind infatuation ! fatal folly ! 
It must not be ; yet, yet be wise, be mine ! 
Forego to tempt the desperate path of danger; 
While life and safety yet are thine, enjoy them, 
And shield thee from all sorrow in these arms ! 

Helen. This is too much, too much to bear and live! 
Thy ways, oh patient Heaven, we know are just 
Tho' hid from mortal sight! or might I not, 
With reason might I not complain, and ask 
What I had done, what unknown sin committed, 
To merit such affliction ? (to Monteith) Oh thou mur- 
derer] 
Thou serpent, that hast stung the breast that warm'd 

thee !— 
But let me not upbraid him ; let me fly 
Far, far from his infectious presence — 

(Is going out when Monteith detains her.) 

Mon. Hold ! 

Too long have I endured it ; hold a little, 
Thou goest not so. 

Helen. Ah Heaven! I'm in his pow'r : 

This had escaped me. 

Mon. Hear and heed me well ! 

If I but raise my voice, or stamp my foot, 
I've followers near, all sworn to do my bidding, 
Will bear thee off 



59 

Helen. Have mercy ! 

Mon. Nay ; no struggling ! 

Helen. See, at your feet I fall ; Oh hear me ! hear 
me ! 

Mon. What would'st thou say ? 

Helee. As thou'rt a man, have mercy ! 

Do not withhold me from a dying husband. 
Thou hast betray 'd him to a cruel death ; 
Oh i will not that suffice ? yet he'll forgive thee ; 
Indeed he will ; as I, as Heaven may do ; 
So thou'lt but let me see him ere he dies ! 

Mon^. Vain hope ! 

HeUn. Ah wherefore should it be so? stay-^. 

If 'tis my wealth thou covet'st, take it ail, 
I give it thee ; I sign it o'er to thee, 
To thee and thine forever, and will make it 
A portion of my future prayers to Heaven, 
To bless thee with it ! will not that suffice thee? 
He hears me not ! oh Heaven ! he hears me not! 
What shall I say to shake his horrid purpose ? 
Inspire, instruct me, teach me !~or are prayers 
Addressed to thee in vain ? 

Mon. In vain ! methinks 

Heaven echoes back the words to thee ! in vain \ 
Come, come away ! {taking her by the hand) 

Helen. Yet spare me ! 

Mon. Idle words [ 

Helen. Will nothing move thee ! Oh, and is there 
none — 
No hope ? 

Mon. None ! none ! 

Doug, (rushing doxvn the ?*ocks, and exclaiming as 
he descends) Accursed fiend ! thott liest ! 

Down to thy native hell ! there howl for ever ! 

( Monteith has drawn his sword, which is struck 
from his grasp ; he is stabbed, and falls dead 
on the earth : Helen sinks on her knees in 
speechless transport ; the troops from behind 
crowd in on every side,) 






60 

14 Dong, (exultingly) My comrades, where, where 

are ye ? see, behold \ 
And thou, {to Helen) thou dear one ! where the 

traitor's blood 
Smokes on my steel's true point ! thus, thus at least 
Tho' foil'd in our endeavour to redeem 
Our glorious chief, we have avenged his capture V* 



END OF ACT THE FOURTH. 



61 



ACT V. 

SCENE I. 

Interior of a Prison, 

Wallace solus. 

Yes — thou sure end of tyranny, come on ! 

Thanks to the emboldening energy that nerves 

A virtuous bosom, I can meet thee, Death, 

With an erect front ! nor shall 'scape my lips 

One word of murmur ! — No, if all the hopes, 

The glorious hopes, with which this breast beat high, 

Must, like the fleeting fictions of a dream, 

Pass into nought — I bow my spirit down 

In mute submission to the Eternal Will ! 

Yet am I man! and, oh ! when I reflect — 

My wife — no more of that! — a tear will fall, 

A sigh will have its way, and so an end ! 

Enter Glo'ster. 

Glos, Wallace, it pitieth me to speak thy doom ; 
But, lo ! the Sovereign's seal and signature 
Hath past— and thou must die! 

WaL I have heard no less. 

Glos. Aye ; but belike this hour ; even now the 
guards 
Do wait without to bear thee to thy fate; 
And circling thousands, round the barrier stand, 
In hope to see — 



62 

Wal. A fellow-creature die ! 

Is it not so? — and they shall see, my Lord, 
Yea, even in death, shall see, how, undismay'd 
By every chance and change, the intrepid soul 
Can proudly triumph o'er oppression still ! 
Aye! let the death-stroke fall whene'er ye will, 
I am prepared ! 

Glos. Farewell then, thou brave Scot ! 

Would that my power avail'd to change thy doom, 
But Edward's edict is imperative — 
Nor will admit delay — yet — yet awhile — 
Farewell ! {exit. 

Helen, (without.) Restrain me not J 

Wal. (starting ) Whose voice was that? 

Heavens ! but it cannot be — 

Glos. (from without.) Back I Soldiers — back ! 
I charge ye, give her way. 

Wal. Mysterious powers ! 

Helen, (from without.) Wallace! 

Wal. It is her voice ! — it is herself J 

Mine own — true Helen ! 

Helen (entering. ) Ah ! — He's here ! — again 

I have him — hold him — Oh ! my life ! — my lord ! — 
Again— again — what shall I say ? — how vent 
The joy— the transport — Oh ! — I cannot speak — 
But we will part no more ! 

Wal. (clasping her.) My heart's best bliss ! 

But wherefore is't, that at a time like this 
We thus should meet? — thro' wliat unnumbered 

toils 
Must thou have won thy difficult way— alone — 
Friendless, and destitute. 

Helen. Oh no— the good — 

The ever faithful Donglas was my guide ; 
Else had I sunk, exhausted with my woes, 
And died 'ere I had seen thee ! 

Wal. Heaven reward him ! 

Is he here too ? and yet, my Helen, yet, 
I would thou hadst not come. 

Helen. Oh ! say not so— 

Tho' it was kindly meant 5 yet do not say, 



63 

On any terms thou would'st I had not come. 
Oh! it makes all my happiness on earth — 
Thus to enfold thee— thus by thy dear side 
To share each want and woe — 

Wat. Yet, yet, my love, 

Wert thou but now away — 

Helen. Oh! never, never; 

No — never, Wallace, will I leave thee more ! 
Better to die ten thousand deaths together, 
Than live to part again ! — Yet, wherefore part ? — 
These sinful men — all lawless as they are, 
Will not attempt thy life— 

Wat. Ha! will not? 

Helen. No !— 

I have the Douglas' word for it— they will not — 
They dare not kill thee ! and for aught beside — 
What recks it? — while thy Helen still be nigh 
To share each woe— to soothe and comfort thee? 
Then wherefore part ? — or haply thou mayst deem 
I'm all unfit— and of too slight a frame 
To combat with the chill, and noxious airs 
Of a damp dungeon — Oh! believe me — no — 
If that thou see the rose upon my cheek, 
Wane in its wonted bloom, or hear a sigh 
O'er my sad lot escape these trembling lips, 
Then send me where thou wilt— but not till then ; 
Beseech thee — not till then ! 

Wal. {turning from her.) Oh agony ! 
How shall I dare — thus soulstruck as I am, 
To front her with the tidings of my doom ? 
And yet it must be so ; all pitying heaven I 
Sustain her to the trial ! Helen ! Helen ! 

Helen. My lord ! 

Wal. I hoped — I could have wished ; (he is unable 
to proceed; and turns hastily from her); — Away — 
I will not be her executioner ! 
I will not be the herald of a tale, 
Whose slighest word will strike her dead before me ! 
And yet ; and yet — Ah! wherefore thou unkind — 
At such a moment, wherefore art thou come 
To wake so fell a conflict in my breast? 



64 

Helen, {terrified.) At such a moment! 

Wal. Oh ! for mercy's sake 

Let go thy withering hold upon my heart, 
And leave me to my fate ! 

Helen, {half shrinking from him.) What may 
this mean ? 
You fright me ; you appal me ; Wallace ! Wallace ! 
What may this mean ? 

WaL Canst thou not guess ? 

Helen, (franticly) Speak ! speak ! 

Wal. It is-— it is — Oh ! turn aside that look, 
Lest it unnerve me, and prepare thy heart 
To hear — 

Helen. Enough ! 1 see— I see it all — 
Thou art—the thirst of death is in my throat— 
Thou art — I cannot speak— 

WaL Even so, condemn'd ! 

Nay more— perchance this very hour. 

Helen, {with a shriek of fear.) This hour ! 

WaL They'll bear me from thee ; from those cir- 
cling arms 
That clasp me round, so close and clingingly ; 
They'll bear me to an ignominious death ! 

Helen. Death! Death! Aye, death! O God's 
name be it so, 
If this be life—but oh ! I will not think it ; 
Tis all an obscure dream ; these grates and walls — 

The cold gloom of this pestilent prison-house 

All. all a dream '. a hideous, horrible dream ; 
Yet but a dream ! and I shall wake anon, 
And find it so in sooth ! 

(Noise of falling bars without. 

Helen starts. 

Hark ! hark ; that sound ; 
It has aroused me! ho ] look there ! they come 
To tear him hence I 

(The great Gates in front are thrown open, and 
Fitz Eustice, with Soldiers, enter to bear 
Wallace to Execution. 



65 

And I stand idly here ! 
Away; it must not be ; it must not be : 
I'll to the streets, the city, to the King ! 
Aye, to the King '• my deep despair shall melt 
His iron heart ; or if it fail, my screams 
Shall reach the throne of justice, and draw down 
Heaven's angriest lightnings to avenge my cause ! 

(To soldiers who surround her) 

Off, let me pass ; oh 1 I'll do something — what 
I know not — but he shall not die— Off !— off! 
He shall not— 

Wal. Helen ! 

Helen. Nay— oppose me not ! 

To the King ! to the Kin 

(She rushes wildly out — Fitz Eustace waves 
his sword to the Soldiers, who close around 
their Prisoner, and the scene shuts. 



SCENE II. 

Enter Douglas, wrapt in a large dark Plaid. 

Still, still it haunts me; it pursues me still — 
Yon sanded scaffold, and the fiendlike for^s 
Of those grim armed manslayers around it ! 
Ah ! my poor friend \ and have my heedless step 
Led me again towards thy dark dungeon's cell ? 
But lo ! the gate uncloses, and the guards 
Give willing way — Almigh y Powers !— is that 
Is that my friend appeals?— it is— it is ! 
Even now they bear him to the block! 

(A Bell tolls.) And hark* 

That deep bell— Oh ! how heavily it falls 



66 

On my crusb'd bcart ! support me! — (leaning against 
a pillar ; muffled drums are heard) Ha! it comes * 
This way in dark procession wending on, 
The horrid death train comes! 



( The Procession to the Place of Execution 
passes over the Stage, muffled drums sounding 
at intervals — Fitz Eustace, as Leader, 
Guards, the Headsman, with his Axe — 
preceding Wallace, who has reached the 
middle oj the Stage— when Douglas rushes 
forward.) 



Doug. A moment stay— 

Yet, yet, a moment — oh! my friend! my brother — 
And is it thus I see thee? 

Wal Thou too here?— 

Kind ! kind and faithful to the last \ — good Southron, 
Wilt thou indulge us with a moment's pause ? 

Fitz E. Far as my orders will allow 

Wal. I thank thee. 

So ! to my arms thou faithfullest of friends — 
Oh ! thus that they might fold thee in for ever : 
But fate forbids ; albeit, it kindly grant 
This short reprieve, yet must we part, my friend 

Doug. Part, says't thou, part ? 
No ! 'tis too much to suffer, even in thought 
They shall not part us ! I'll declare my rank, 
My fell abhorrence of their rule, my nVd, 
My sworn attachment to the cause of freedom ! 
'Twill do— 'twill rouse their rage ; and I shall die , 
As I have lived, still undivided from thee 
Aye ye dire agents of a tyrant's will ! 
And is it blood ye thirst for ? then rejoice, 
Hear and rejoice! not one alone, but two- 
Two victims wait to swell the copious tide, 
And make the rich libation doubly dear : 
For here I swear {kneeling) 

Wal Hold, hold? what is't you 

prithee be calm and hear me. 



67 

Doug. Well, I will, — 

But oh ! thou would'st not bind me to a world 
So void of every bliss that gave it sweetness ; 
Think what a blank, a worthless blank were life, 
When reft of thee ; where, where then should I find 
That kindred breast whereon to pour my griefs, 
And lean for consolation ; or that heart 
To sweeten every joy by sharing it ? 
Oh Wallace ! friend ! protector ! every thing \ 
Have we not been as brothers ? have not I 
Grown as it were beneath thy fostering hand ? 
Is there a virtue dwells within my breast 
But owns thee as its author? Think of this ; 
I'st not a tie should bind me strongly to thee ? 
And shall it now be sunder'd ? No, my Wallace f 
Thou hast been throughout the light of all my life, 
And night must hang on every road from thee. 

WaL Oh! is this well ? — I was prepared for death. 
Thou hast unnerved me — yet, I thank thy love, 
Tho' I could fain have spared this proof of it ; 
But thou must live, my brother, still must live, 
And to a precious end — reflect — thy country— 
Thy country, Douglas, claims thee as her own — 
But there's another cause 

Fitz E. The time draws on : prisoner- 



Wal. I come— I come ! — Think, I've a wife, 
A hapless, desolate wife ! who losing thee, 
Were in this wide world left without a friend. 

Doug. Enough ! thou hast remember'd me of that 
Might make me drag a lingering life of woe ! 
Yes Wallace, yes — thy other self* thy Helen, 
Long as the breath of life inspire this frame, 
I will protect her. 

WaL Wilt thou ? 

Doug. I have spoken. 

WaL And cheer and comfort her when I am gone? 
And let her know that even in life's last stage, 
My sole, sole thoughts were fiVd on her? 

Doug. All! all! 



68 

Wal. Why then® my earthly cares are closed : and 
now, 
Thou noblest, bravest, and thou best of friends, 
Take this one dear embrace, and fare thee well 
'Till we do meet, where nought shall part us more. 

Doug. I cannot speak— but let me fold thee to me 
Yet, yet a little longer ; while that breast, 
Which must so soon be cold, clay cold, can feel 
The warm caress of friendship ! Oh ! farewell ! 
Friend of my soul, while yet I live to speak it, 
Farewell for ever ! [Exit. 

JVaL So — the conflict ends ! 

Now to your office, to the block lead on ! 

(The Procession passes on.) 



SCENE THE LAST. 



A spacious Court, supposed to be near the place of execution, 
with Turrets and arched Gate in front, the whole pre- 
senting the appearance of an ancient Fortress of conside- 
rable extent — Wallace, &c. discovered— Guards stationed 
on either side; as the Scene draws a loud roll of drums. 



FitzE. Here pause awhile : this is thy latest stage l 
Yon circling multitudes do mark the spot 
Where thou art doom'd to die. Bethink thee then 
If, ere thou reachest that tremendous bourne, 
Thou hast aught to offer. 

Wal. Nothing ! 

Titz E. It is well. 

I may proceed then, say ? 

Wal. Proceed ! 



69 

Helen (without) Hold \ hold! 
Wal That voice! oh! haste me to the block— or 
here, 
Here, end me on the instant ! ah! she comes ! 
Hide! hide! me from her view ! — 
Helen rushes on folloxved by Gloster, then with a 
scream of joy falling on her knees— 
He lives, he lives ! 
Thank Heaven he lives ! and I am not too late ; 
Still, still on earth we may be blest ! 

Wal. (not having heard her) Oh ! this, 

This is indeed to die ! I feel it here; 
It grapples at the very strings of life. 
And art thou come, thou cruel ! to behold 
The stroke of death dealt on me ? 

Helen Oh ! no, no— 

Thou shalt not die — -'the King himself, my love — 
The King himself has said that thou shalt live ! 
Oh ! 'tis too much to see thee thus again ; 
Thus rescued from the very verge of fate — 
It is too much — I must not dwell on it — 
I must not— else I shall be mad — quite mad, 
And lose ye spite of all. 

Wal. My best, best love ! 

Calm thee awhile — yet much, alas ! I fear 
Thou hast been deceived ; — my Lord of Gloster, say, 
These sudden transports, what may they import? 
Glos. First then, that thou art free ! — this 
angel here, 
(And sure no gentlest advocate from Heaven, 
On errand of sweet mercy, e'er could plead 
With more resistless energy,) even now 
From the King's hand hath won thee a reprieve ! 
Lady, produce the pacquet that thou bearest, 
And let that speak the rest. 

Helen (tearing open her vest) Tis here, 'tis here ! 
Out on these fastenings, here. 

Glos. Receive it Wallace, 

And read the terms. 

Wal. The terms !_ there needs it not: — 

On to the block ! (Helen stands in despair) 



70 

Glos. Ye powers ! and wilt thou then — 

Wilt thou reject ? — 

Helen {rapidly) Oh no ! he will accede — 
I know him well, he will accede to all — 
Be satisfied — to all you may require 1 . 
Ah ! me, I prate I know not what — oh Wallace ! 
By the blest vow that link'd our lives in one; 
And by that love, which, if *t indeed be true, 
What thine empassioned lips so oft have sworn, 
Thou hast ever borne me, do not banish quite 
The sole, sole hope of my most wretched state; 
But oh ! in mercy to a soul, bow'd down 
And sunk in extreme agony, oh ! say 
But those, those onlywords, that thou wilt live— 
And I am blest ! 

JVal. My love ! — thou dost forget — 

The terms— 

HeL Oh, no !— thou wilt accept 
them — aye — 
There is a softening spirit in thine eye — 
Thou wilt accept them ? 

Wal. Oh ! my torn— torn heart ! 

Knowst thou their import? 

HeL No ! thy life was saved — 

Thy life !— .'twas all I knew— 'twas all I asked— 
'Twas all I reck'd of— 

JVal. Then there rests but this— 

Helen ! I yield my fate into thine hands!— 

{giving her the pacquet) 
Read o'er the terms — and if thou deem them such 
As honor might accept — I will abide- 
So hear and help me, Heaven— by thy decree ! 

Hd. {after a pause, during which she has endea- 
voured to read) 
There is a thickening mist about mine eyes— 
I cannot see— (to Gloster, giving the pacquet) 
Read— read— I prithee read— 

Glos. Thus then saith Edward— "Let the prisoner 
swear 
Henceforward to renounce his country's cause ; 
With all submission, paying homage due 
To England's mightier throne—and he is free ! " 



71 

WaL Now — Helen—fix my doom ? — 

Helen, {taking the pacquet) Are such— are such 
The imposed conditions, in regard of which 
He can alone be saved ? — and must he— ha! — 
Must he ? I will not dare to dwell on it ! — 
Oh no!— 'twere rank — 'twere odious in the sight 
Of earth and heaven — of men and angels— odious . 
And yet— the horrible alternative! 
How shall I ee'r— oh, heaven ! and all ye powers ! 
Is it in human nature for a wife 
To doom a husband's death ? — to sign him o'er 
To the fell headsman's axe — and see that neck, 
Round which her passionate arms so oft* have clung 
In thrilling speechless extasy— I cannot — 

(with a convul s he shudder) 
No !— 'tis too horrible ! — I cannot do it J 

WaL Yet recollect thee— love — 
I have confided in thine honour ) 

Hel. Ha !— 

And must I then ? — 

WaL No more — I wait my doom ! 

Glos. Yet pause awhile — reflect he is thine own — 
Flesh of thy flesh— thine own true bosom's lord*— 
And heaven and nature join to bid thee save him * 
Speak but the word then — 

WaL Helen ! 

Glos. From the axe 

O' the headsman snatch him ! 

Hel. {in a state of desperation, and summoning 
all her fortitude) N ! if such the terms, 
Barbarians ! we disclaim— -we tread upon them ! 

{tearing the paper) 
And thus — encircled in each other's arms, 
thus, we'll die together ! 

{throwing herself into his arms } he 
strains her to his heart. ) 
Enter Cliff rd. 

Clif. Good, my lords, . 

The king but now has sent me to revoke 
His late so hasty act of grace and see 






72 

Swift execution done upon the Scot— 

Justly incensed, for that the traitor, Bruce, 

Even now, as we have heard, hath fled to Scotland ; 

And at the head of that revolted realm, 

'Mid thousands, who acclaimed him king, again 

Hath bid defiance to our Southron powers ! 

Wal. {who had listened to this intelligence rvith 
encreasing rapture, now rushes Jorivard, and 
with a burst of exultation) 
Ha ! free again \ once more my country free ! 
Catch the blest sound ye choiring angels— ye 
That circle heavens high throne exultingly — 
Ye thunders, join your notes, and loud proclaim 
To all the astonished world the tidings round, 
Scotland again is free ! the star hath risen, 
That presages a day of peace ! 
The Bruce ! the Bruce ! he comes— he rushes on, 
Resistless in his might !— a nation starts 
From bondage at his call, and tramples on 
Her chains 1— my native land is free ! 
Scotland again is free ! 

Clif. But for thee 
This instant 

JVah Aye— this instant to the block ! 

Scotland is free— and Wallace falls contented 5 

Clif. Now lead him on ! — 
The King hath sworn he will not quit yon tower, 
'Till the commingling swell of trump and drum 
Shall to the city's utmost bounds proclaim 
The arch-rebel is no more ! 

Come M {Helen falls senseless into the arms of Glos- 
ter-) 

Wal Hold yet awhile— 
Helen !— my latest moment is arrived— 
Nay ; rouse thee— and collect thy nobler self 
To bid me one farewell— one dear farewell— ■ 
'Till we do part 

Clif Now— Prisoner— it were best- 

Guards ! bear him to the block * 

(Soldiers approach* 



73 

JVal. (with extreme indignation.) 

Back ! back \ ye slaves ! 
Nor dare pollute me with those ruffian hands \ 
Shall it not be permitted me to pour 
A few warm tears, o'er an expiring* wife ? 
Look there ! there! there! {throwing himself on his 
knees beside her) Thou loveliest and thou best ! 
Is there a power on earth to tear me hence, 
Ere I have ta'en of thee one last embrace ? 
Ah me! my wife! my poor, dear, desolate wife ! 
And art thou stricken thus for me? — for me 
Falls this stroke on thee? Ah! when I'm gone 
Thou shalt revive! for I have been to thee 
As the fell poison tree, beneath whose shade, 
Thou, sweetest flower, hast sick'ning died away ! 
Farewell! farewell! farewell! (retiring slowfa) 

Yet one kiss more ! 
One other ! oh, eternally farewell ! 

( Tearing himself away, yet stitt gazing on her 
till he is out of sight — a pause, during which 
she exhibits signs of returning animation.) 

Glos. Thou Lily! borne by the rude sway o'th* 
storm, 
Thus low to earth, dost thou again look up ? 

Helen. Where am I ? Still, still in this world of 
woe! 
All horrible things are round me and about me 1 - 
What is it ye would have ? Who are ye ? Hence 
Officious, and not merciful ! avaunt ! 
Ye cannot make me live! ha ! look !— look there ! 
The very vision of my brain! {gazing wildly upon 
the Scaffold situate at a small distance.) 

Glos. {Aside) Oh, turn aside thine eyes, and see 
it not ; come thou with me. {attempting to lead her 
away — she resists.) 

Helen. No, never! never! never 

Dost thou not see ? Tis there, I tell thee — there? 
Hence ! I'll abide the sight on't, with a strength 
Of soul — it shall amaze ye ! — still he lives ! 

K 



74 

Still !- — still !--- and now the parting prayer is o'er, 
And no hope— none ! Wallace! but one, one look! 

( Then with a scream of horror) 
Ah, Heaven \ he bows his head upon the block! 
Save — save him ! save him 

(She breaks precipitately from the arms o/Gloster., 
and rushes forward with frantic eagerness — 
Douglas, at the same instant, has burst thro" 
the surrounding Guards, exclaiming (< Helen ! 
Helen ! " — when a loud roll of the drums is 
heard from without — she stops as if paralized, 
then, with a wild shriek, falling back, ex- 
pires in the arms of Douglas.) 



THE END, 



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